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Grading the States 2009

On March 11, the National Alliance on Mental Illness will publish Grading the States 2009: A Report on America’s Health Care System for Adults with Serious Mental Illness (GTS ’09).  The report provides the only comprehensive, ongoing assessment of the nation’s public mental health care system for adults. It is funded by a grant from the Stanley Family Foundation.

The 2009 report is a follow-up to the initial measurement in NAMI’s groundbreaking first Grading the States report in 2006.  That report published the first comprehensive survey of state mental health care systems in more than 15 years. It provided a common baseline against which progress can be measured over periods of years.

In 2006 the states received an average grade of D, while only five states received Bs. Governors, legislators, state agencies, mental health professionals, consumer and family advocates, the news media, and taxpayers all sat up and took notice. GTS ’06 provided guidance and momentum for reform in many states.

GTS ’09 will help determine whether or not states have improved or lost ground in the past three years; whether the national average has increased, decreased, or stayed the same; and what strengths, innovative trends, or urgent needs can be identified in each state and nationally.

The states were scored and weighted in four broad categories:

  • Health Promotion & Measurement
  • Financing & Core Treatment/Recovery Services
  • Consumer & Family Empowerment
  • Community Integration & Social Inclusion

In total, sixty-five criteria were used in the grading process. Each one was weighted to reflect its relative importance.

The report is scheduled to be released at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 and will be available online at or in printed report form from the NAMI store at