December 16, 2012

GOP led austerity has slashed mental health assistance

Lynn Stuart Parramore, Alternet -  Across the country, states facing severe financial shortfalls have cut at least $4.35 billion in public mental health spending from 2009 to 2012, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. It's the largest reduction in funding since de-institutionalization in the 1960s and '70s. In fiscal year 2012 alone, 31 states that gave their numbers to the association reported cutting more than $840 million.

Thanks to the misguided austerity policies embraced by conservatives, more people are falling through the cracks. There are not enough psychiatric beds, treatment services or community support programs. Medication is expensive, and insurance companies routinely leave patients inadequately covered…

Mental healthcare workers have been laid off. Vulnerable people are neglected until their situation becomes acute - often after it's too late. Many are incarcerated, often subjected to solitary confinement because prison officials don't know what to do with them. Others are homeless - as many as 45 percent of the people living on the streets suffer from mental illness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why offer mental healthcare, if you have insurance, big Pharma can profit off you by giving you drugs. If you can't provide a profit to big Pharma, you're welcome to die in the streets. It's the American way, you know, pull yourself up by your boot straps, even if you are mentally ill and can't function without help.

This country has gone mad.

Personally I having lived once near a church that offered meals to homeless people, and some of the meal patrons were violent and seriously mentally ill, one of the more unstable patrons even assaulting a neighbor of mine, I saw the interest I have in supporting mental healthcare with my tax dollars. Unfortunately my government would rather use my tax dollars to pay for prisons instead of mental health services. Even thought putting mentally ill people in prisons costs more than giving them services on the outside.