Emails (excerpted), response to PolitiFact Texas, Anne Dunkelberg, associate director, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Jan. 9, 2013

10:08 am

As I suspected, your problem is that these 50-states +DC rankings are updated annually and the updates occurred rather close to the dates of the interviews involved.  

1.   As noted, the primary source for all the rankings is one and the same, namely National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

2.   That is what Kaiser uses, and the Hogg report from August 2012 that Katharine Ligon cited in her interview references Texas last-place ranking.  See slide # 5, last bullet:

Texas has now fallen to 50th place in per capita funding for mental health services

(51st including Washington, D.C.) ††


†† Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2011


3.   Kaiser updated from the 2009 ranking to the 2010 one you have accessed on November 20, 2012 (see below)


National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Inc (NRI), Accessed 11/20/2012.


Fiscal Year: Fiscal Year is your state’s fiscal year that ends in that calendar year. For example, for most states, Fiscal Year 2010 ended on June 30, 2010.

NA: Not Available. Data not reported.

4.         As I shared yesterday, here are the links to the 2009 AND 2010 rankings Kaiser used, at the original source:


National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Inc (NRI),, Texas ranked 50 in 2010

Texas Ranked #51 in 2009

NASMHPD Research Institute, Inc. (NRI) is the research ally of National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the organization representing state mental health commissioners/directors and their agencies.

If you look at their 2009 data, Texas was ranked 51st (DC is included) for 2009, with a national median of $109 and Texas at $38.  

...the ranking and the national median cited were correct and consistent with the “in-use-until-late November 2012” standard used by Kaiser Family Foundation and Hogg Foundation.


... Texas moved to 50 from 51 from 2009 to 2010 not because of a significant improvement in our per capita investment in mental health, but because poor Idaho cut per capita spending by about $8 per resident.




Anne Dunkelberg

Associate Director

Center for Public Policy Priorities

245 pm

Actually, if you read the footnote on the KFF site and original source, it SAYS the Texas data DO include the prison MH spending (b = SMHA-Controlled Expenditures include funds for mental health services in jails or prisons.)


But the rest of the other agency notation is accurate, and this is true for Texas but also for all of the other states in the ranking.   In essence, the state ranking is a good measure of direct public and community MH spending by a state for the population that is NOT in prison, or CPS, or on Medicaid.


In each state, it is likely that Medicaid is a very large payer for MH services, and also likely that no one is tracking that expenditure. ...


 Anne Dunkelberg  Associate Director  Center for Public Policy Priorities