Budget Cuts for Mental Health Services

by Brittany Harris on April 13, 2011 at 6:28 am

Mental health and recovery services statewide are not happy about Governor John Kasich’s recent decision to support the "Recovery to Work" program.

Executive Director Rod Hollingsworth with the Mental and Health Recovery board serving six area counties says only certain clients will qualify for the program and the federal funding supporting it will dry up by September of 2012. The Governor is also planning to cut their system’s budget by 30% causing them to lose $1.1 million. Hollingsworth said there will be consequences.

"When we don’t have those type of services it’s going to lead to inappropriate jail admissions, inappropriate use of emergency rooms, inappropriateness psychiatric hospitalizations because we just won’t be able to prevent those kinds of things from happening," he said.

CEO and President of Six County John Creek said medicaid is also planning to limit coverage for mental health treatments. He said it will affect case management and partial hospitalization.

"These are two programs that we use to keep people out of hospitals, keep them stable and living in the community, and they are going to be extremely limited and we are going to have to tell them now that their insurance isn’t going to pay for much," he said.

He said until the General Assembly votes on the budget proposal in June, they are continuing on with advocacy and negotiations.