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.
- Letters: Don’t cut children’s mental health funds (knoxnews.com)
- You: Mental health services under review – Muskogee Daily Phoenix (news.google.com)
- You: Mental health: Cuts ‘catastrophic’ – Jackson Clarion Ledger (news.google.com)
- You: Mental health must be spared in budget cuts – Irish Times (news.google.com)
- Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Americans (webmd.com)
- Lawmen want end to patient transport (skwillms.wordpress.com)