Calif. Maintained Mental Health Care Funding in 2015, Report Finds
While many states have cut funding for mental health services, California was one of several that maintained its mental health budget for fiscal year 2015, according to a report released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Washington Post's "To Your Health" reports.
Details of Report
The report was based on:
- Advocacy group reports;
- Information from state agencies' websites; and
- Media accounts.
NAMI has tracked state mental health budgets for the last three years (Sun, "To Your Health," Washington Post, 12/8).
Connecticut, Illinois and Pennsylvania had not passed their budgets at the time the report was conducted and are therefore listed as "pending."
According to the report:
- 23 states increased mental health spending in FY 2015, compared with 29 in 2014 and 36 in 2013; and
- 12 states decreased mental health spending in FY 2015, compared with six in 2014.
The report said that the states that have been "treading water" or cutting mental health funding represent a disconnect between the "great deal of rhetoric in recent years about the broken mental health system in America and the need to invest in services."
According to the report, California had increased its budget for mental health services in 2013 and 2014. However, it maintained its funding for 2015.
The report noted that California has "led the nation" in:
- Alternative sentencing for inmates with mental health issues; and
- Mental health parity enforcement.
Specifically, the report cited SB 219 that bars female inmates in state prisons from being excluded from voluntary alternative custody for reasons based solely on mental health status (NAMI report, December 2015).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.