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A grim future for state mental health services

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released a report in November that drew light to the impacts of continued state funding cuts to mental health services and, subsequently, states’ ability to provide services to individuals with mental illness. While strapped budgets and slashed expenditures are commonplace in today’s economy, it’s important to note funding cuts for mental health services are not solely due to the recession; they’ve actually been on the chopping block since the 1980s.

Mental health facilities are not the only ones taking a hit. Due to the increasing lack of mental health facilities and availability of services, the mentally ill are being pushed to emergency rooms, homeless shelters and jails. Additionally, the nation’s grim economy, high unemployment rate, and unstable fiscal outlook all contribute to more and more individuals seeking mental health treatment, which further widens the gap between the availability of services and those who need them.

Although some states have increased general fund appropriations for mental health services, fiscal year 2012 is not looking any better for most. Many states have already cut millions of dollars from general funds for mental health services, while others are reallocating those funds to Medicaid recipients, leaving those devoid of Medicaid even further in the dust.

Deltek recently released an Analyst Perspective that examines mental health funding cuts throughout the nation and provides recommendations for vendors looking to assist states with mental health services solutions in light of diminishing funds.   

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