The Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed a budget cut of over $45 million for the Department of Mental Health (DMH). On Feb. 14, 2017, the committee passed multiple appropriations bills for state agencies, commissions and boards as a move proceeding the upcoming budget session.
According to Buck Clarke, chairman of the committee, the budget cut is applicable to most of the agencies and will be brought into force from July 1, 2017, when the budget fiscal year commences. The reduction in fund has been suggested keeping in mind the revenue shortage.
According to Senator Angela Burks Hill, the presenter of Senate Bill 2976, the recommendation is likely to result in fund reduction of 7 percent in the overall budget of the department. Hill said that even though the proposed budget reduction is very high, it approximately measures up to the hikes that the state has given to the department in the last five years.
Effect on mental health services
The Department of Mental Health has been subjected to cost-cutting for several years now. This year’s cut, however, can lead to discontinuation of multiple services (as reviewed from previous years’ budget cutting on DMH):
- Closure of psychiatric centers that provide services to the people grappling with serious mental illnesses that necessitate close monitoring.
- Closure of units catering exclusively to the treatment of patients suffering from addictionto substances. Treatment for substance abuse generally comprises a detoxification program, medical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, etc.
- Withdrawal of early intervention services where special instructions are given to children at a very young age to enhance their behavioral development.
The prime focus of the DMH has been to disseminate quality services to the people grappling with mental disorders and substance abuse. However, the budget slash will lead to a serious staff reduction, thus affecting the services. In such a scenario, Medicaid eligibility expansion is imperative to ensure that nobody is deprived of health services and care.
Sovereign Health can help
According to the2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH),in the U.S., more than 43 million people aged 18 years or older grappled with some sort of mental illness in the previous year. However, only a few of them received treatment for their disorders. One of the main reasons behind this can be the high cost of treatment in the country. However, there are organizations that can provide help. Sovereign Health, is one such organization, which provides holistic treatments for all kinds of mental health disorders as well as an underlying health condition.
Sovereign Health accepts PPO (preferred provider organization) plans of all private insurance companies. In case you want to verify your insurance benefits, please feel free to contact Sovereign Mental Health’s VoB (verification of benefits) executive. He/she would suggest the best possible options available to you.
Sovereign Health focuses on providing quality attention and treatment for various psychological conditions and disorders. If you or your loved one is struggling with mental illness, contact Sovereign Health for evidence-based treatment programs. You can chat online with our treatment advisors to know more about our state-of-the-art mental health rehabilitation centers in California. Alternately, you can also call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164for expert advice on our tailor-made mental health centers in California.