Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


First Advisor

Younghwan Song

Second Advisor

Melinda Goldner




mental health, treatment, psychiatric care, support, demand


Using data from the Center for Mental Health Services Uniform Reporting System on state-wide mental health services from 2003 to 2007, this paper investigates the differences between states in the utilization of community mental health treatment and state psychiatric in-patient care. During the 1970s the United States undertook the policy of deinstitutionalization of mental institutions. The movement of patients from institutions into the community left a large gap in the amount and types of services available to patients needing psychiatric care. As a result, there was an increased demand for community mental health supports provided by states to compensate for the closing of mental institutions. This paper investigates who is more likely to receive community care for psychiatric illnesses and who is more likely to receive institutionalized care based on levels of supports available in each state. The gender, ethnicity, age, Medicaid funded treatment and employment status of patients served by each state are analyzed to compare the differences in utilization of mental health care services in each state. This study finds that as the amount of total psychiatric care increases, the utilization of community care increases as well. Additionally, as expected, utilization of community psychiatric care increase with increases in State Mental Health Agency (SMHA) per capita expenditures. Policy makers can use these results to further implement deinstitutionalization policies.