Illinois Mental Health Cuts Part of National Crisis, says NAMI
State budget cuts have resulted in a “staggering” decline in mental health services, according to a recent report published by the National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI).
State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis gives a state by state account of changes in public funding for mental health since 2009. Illinois had the dubious distinction of ranking third among states with the highest cuts, totaling $113.7 million. Only California ($587 million) and New York ($132 million) had larger cuts.
“With effective services and supports, people living with major mental illness can and do achieve recovery,” the report states. ‘Cuts of this magnitude will disrupt such services, causing escalated visits to emergency rooms, hospitalizations, homelessness, entanglement with juvenile and criminal justice systems, the loss of critical developmental years, premature deaths and suicides.”
The top three states with the largest cuts as percentage of overall budget were Alaska (35%), South Carolina (235) and Arizona (23%).
You can read the full report at www.nami.org/budgetcuts
Photo: Former C4 consumer Denise Ward addresses May 12 mental health rally at Thomspon Center. C4's Tony Kopera is at left.