This indicator notes the per capita spending on publicly funded mental health service agencies.
This indicator is part of Access to health care.
This indicator notes the per capita spending on publicly funded mental health service agencies. This data is only available at the state and national level, because these programs are funded at those levels, even if the actual programs are implemented at the community level. The State of New Mexico lags far behind other states in the Southwest. New Mexico has the lowest current level of per capita mental health spending of any state in the nation. While funding levels have doubled or more in other areas of the Southwest and in the rest of the nation, New Mexico's spending was virtually unchanged between 1981 and 2006. In 2007 this amount increased dramatically.
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Why is this indicator relevant?
Publicly funded mental health services provide mental health care for those who are most gravely ill. These services also include drug and alcohol abuse services, and treatment for teens and adolescents with emotional and behavioral issues. When community mental heath services are lacking, studies show that incarceration becomes the de facto substitute for the provision of mental health treatment services.
Mental Health Agency Per Capita Expenditure, Health Expenditures, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention; Grading the States: A Report on America's Health Care System for Serious Mental Illness, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
What can we tell from the data?
- The State of New Mexico is below the national average, but is ahead of only Colorado in per capita spending.
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