You Choose

The 1991 Call to Action by Lucy Gwin

You Choose 17

150,257 American children and adults are living in tax-funded mental institutions at any given time. Most are there because home-and community-based services are not available to them. Taxpayer dollars fund institutions almost exclusively.

Average annual cost to taxpayers of housing one disabled American in a mental institution: $58,569*

*Because insufficient community-based services for people with mental illness are funded by taxpayers, no reliable national number is available for comparison. Florida, one state where some such supports are available, is cited at right. Although national average tax dollar expenditures for institutions are far higher ($83,573 per person served), Florida's figures are cited on this page.