Researchers from the State Health Care Spending Project -- a collaboration between The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation -- sought to better understand the country's mental health challenges and, in particular, the states' role in addressing them. The project found that:
- In 2013, approximately 44 million adults -- 18.5 percent of the population 18 and older -- were classified as having a mental illness. Of these, 10 million had a serious mental illness. The rate of serious mental illness varied from state to state.
- In 2009, the most recent year for which national mental health data are available, $147 billion was spent on mental health treatment in the United States. A majority of the spending, 60 percent, came from public sources such as Medicaid, state and local governments, Medicare, and federal grants. Private sources, including health insurance and individual out-of-pocket spending, made up the difference.
- Funding from states and localities totaled $22 billion (15 percent) in 2009. This total does not include state and local Medicaid expenditures. Counting those contributions brings total state and local spending up to $35.5 billion (24 percent).
This report is intended to help federal, state, and local policymakers working to address the country's mental health challenges to better understand their prevalence, treatment, and funding trends.