The National Alliance of Mental Illness reports that among Indiana’s 6.4 million citizens, over 227,000 adults and 71,000 children suffer from serious mental illness. Reports from 2012 show that only 2.5% of the state budget was used to go towards the mental healthcare system. As a result, only 15% of Indiana residents suffering from mental illness received treatment.
Approximately 70% of young adults in Indiana’s juvenile detention systems live with mental health disorders; 20% of these are severe illnesses. National mental health surveys showed that Indiana high school students had the highest percentage of young people experiencing suicidal thoughts out of any other U.S. state.
In order to combat these troubling results, Indiana legislators have recently passed two acts to better support Indiana’s citizens suffering from mental illness:
- Senate Enrolled Act 464 has awarded the Mental Health and Addiction Forensic Treatment Services Grant, a thirty million dollar grant devoted to improving and expanding the forensic psychology field. The act also requires that newly released inmates receive counseling and treatment as recommended by a licensed psychologist.
- House Enrolled Act 1269 requires that school counselors become licensed mental health professionals via the recently established Mental Health First-Aid Training Program. The act also states that the Department of Corrections must help inmates apply for healthcare before their release so that they are able to receive treatment as needed.
Not only will these new acts implement better mental healthcare for Indiana residents, but they will also provide more job opportunities for forensic psychologists.
Salary Expectations and Job Growth Projections
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 22% growth rate in the forensic psychology field through the year 2022. This is double this field’s national growth rate of 11% and will create a projected 81 new jobs each year for forensic psychologists.
Salaries in Indiana’s forensic psychology field vary greatly by experience level and location:
- Experienced (IN): $110,900
- Mid-Career (IN): $61,600
- Entry Level (IN): $33,000
The highest average salaries are found in Indiana’s metropolitan areas:
- Fort Wayne: $89,950
- Lafayette: $84,120
- Gary: $70,530
- Indianapolis: $70,480
Salaries for Forensic Psychologists in Indiana’s Major Metro and Non-Metro Areas
The following table provides a more detailed report of forensic psychology salary statistics in Indiana (U.S. Department of Labor, 2014):