The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Mental Health Services Strained by State Budget Cuts

It amazes me the legislators don’t understand that cutting budgets in one place will ultimately result in increases in another place.  This article simply shows the correlation between mental health budgets and police budgets.
I find it almost amusing that these same legislators must believe that if they simply quit funding mental health, the problem of mental illness will simply “go away”.  That really is not going to happen.  We need to find a better solution.
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This is from KRMG.com:
By
Paul Crockett

@ November 23, 2010 3:03 AM

(Tulsa, OK) – Last week we told you about how state budget cuts to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services are impacting the bottom line of local police departments.  This week we’ve talked with the department about the situation.

Local police are being forced to take more mental health patients to out of town facilities when bed space here is full.  Terri White, the state mental health department’s commissioner, says lawmakers were warned that would happen if they had their budget cut.

White says they’ve had about $25 million sliced from their funding over the past 18 months.  She says that means we’ve lost over 100 substance abuse treatment beds across the state, they’ve put a cap on the number of mental health treatment beds and outpatient services have also been cut.

White says economic downturns are a bad time to cut their funding.  She says this is when they see demand for their services increase and this is when we need to be investing more in the department.

Underscoring the uptick in demand are calls to the suicide hotline.  White says those have jumped over 60 percent during a one year period.

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November 25, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , , , ,

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