Was perusing the news today when I ran across this article in the business journal. The author, Kathy Robertson, indicates that CA has slashed over $587 million out of the public mental health budget in the last two years making it the largest set of cuts in the nation.
What a tragedy.
In IT we have a hard time coming up with dollars and cents justifications for the treatments and programs that make up the bulk of healthcare. After all, how easy is it to compare how much is saved by treating a broken arm? We have a much better time of it where MH treatments are concerned. For example, we know that for every dollar spent on MH programs we save about seven dollars in prison funding requirements. The effects are that dramatic due to the high rates of MH consumers who subsequently wind up in the justice system. These types of things are pretty well know in MH administrative circles yet here we are again slashing MH dollars.
I can’t help but wonder what the eventual cost will be as consumers who now count on public mental health treatment clog emergency rooms and eventually jails.