Indiana losing $4B per year on untreated mental illness report

Hayley DeSilva – Beckers Behavioral Health

Researchers in Indiana have found that untreated mental illness is costing the state $4.2 billion per year, according to a report from the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission 

The largest cost is related to premature mortality, which accounts for $1.4 billion of the total. 

Other costs include:

 -$885 million in productivity losses

 -$708 million in direct healthcare costs, with $142 million to Medicaid and $567 million to private insurers

 -$566 million for caregiving service

 -$407 million in unemployment for individuals who cannot work

 -$106 million to the state’s criminal justice system

 -$9 million to help homelessness

The research included findings from WISE Indiana, a partnership between the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, and the Bloomington-based Indiana University Irsay Institute, the Fairbanks School of Public Health and the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

“One in five people in Indiana experience some sort of mental illness each year, but we know many people don’t get the treatment they need,” said Heather Taylor, PhD, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indianapolis-based IUPUI. “By sharing this report, we hope state leaders better understand the burden created by untreated mental illness and take action to prioritize interventions that improve access to and delivery of mental health services.”

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