An AP report compiled with numbers obtained through the FOIA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicate that Utah has the highest rate increase in younger (22-64) mentally ill nursing home residents. However the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health denies that there's any way that Utah saw a 78 percent increase in younger mentally ill patients in nursing homes between 2002 and 2008. Only one state in the nation, however, saw a decline: Minnesota.
The number of young and middle-aged mentally ill individuals in nursing homes in Utah grew at the fastest pace in the nation during the past seven years, according to an Associated Press study.
But state mental health officials dispute the study. Robert Snarr, manager of state adult programs with Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, said statistics kept by the state do not match the AP study. There has been no noticeable increase in demand for nursing home care for the mentally ill in Utah, he said.
According to the study, the Beehive State saw a 78 percent increase in the number of seriously mentally ill people between the ages of 22 and 64 living in state nursing homes between 2002 and 2008.