States Slash Mental Health Care Funding According to State Net

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States are Facing a Giant Shortfall in Funding and Mental Health Programs are Targeted for Cuts

States are reducing all services in an effort to plug a $27 billion budget gap, but mental health programs will endure a disproportionate share of state budget cuts reports the State Net Capitol Journal in coverage released today.

Despite nationwide attention focused on mental health issues following the tragic shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) and 19 others by an allegedly mentally ill gunman, mental health advocates contend that the stigma attached to mental health issues often makes funding for its care an easy target for cuts.

In a strategy that might be penny wise and pound foolish, State Net Capitol Journal's Rich Ehisen reports that "reducing care for the mentally ill actually costs far more in the long run than it saves in the short term." More than 57 million Americans experience a mental health issue in any given year, while one in 17 are diagnosed with a serious condition like depression or bipolar disorder according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The estimated indirect economic impact of mental illnesses adds up to $79 billion annually including the cost of lost workforce productivity. Not included in that total is the cost to fund burgeoning prison populations where almost a quarter of all state prison inmates and approximately three quarters of all juvenile inmates have some mental disorder.

To get the full story and surprising good news in several states, check out the new issue of the State Net Capitol Journal on the State Net Web site at http://www.statenet.com.

About State Net:
State Net (http://www.statenet.com) has helped organizations track legislative and regulatory developments for more than 40 years. Headquartered in Sacramento , CA , State Net monitors every bill in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Congress along with all state agency regulations. The company delivers online services, issue-based consultation and analysis that enables the nation's leading organizations to effectively respond to opportunities and risks in the states.

State Net Capitol Journal delivers coverage of issues, decisions, scandals and politics from all 50 states. Featuring analysis of emerging trends, state budgets, governors, legislatures and elections, Capitol Journal readers gain an intelligent overview of the states and issues each week.

References: Ehisen, Rich. (2011, February 11) "State Mental Health Funding" State Net Capitol Journal.
http://www.statenet.com

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David Giusti
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