Huffington Post on Mental Health Budget Cuts
See this article, which begins:
As states have struggled to balance their budgets, they've often eyed public mental health programs for cuts. But those cuts have hit a particularly vulnerable population: low-income people with often severe mental health disorders or addiction issues.
Experts and mental health advocates say the reductions have led to longer waiting lists for care, less money to help these people get housing and jobs, and more people visiting emergency rooms for psychiatric care.
Chris Wysocki has seen this crisis firsthand. As administrator of Juniata Valley Behavioral and Developmental Services, he oversees mental health services for three largely rural counties in central Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the state allocated $662 million for its mental health programs in fiscal year 2012, down from around $717 million in 2011. It's Wysocki's job to deal with these cuts while trying to minimize the impact on people in his community.