Saturday, February 19, 2011

Proposed Budget Cuts for Mental Health Services

    The most recently proposed budget cuts may cut funding for mental health services and substance abuse by more than $200 million, according to a Chicago Tribune article. Amidst the funding cuts, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk) proposed a bill to place more mental health professionals into schools.

    Although it seems that the majority of the House is supporting budget cuts, she is hopeful that her proposal may be passed due to the amount of untreated mental health issues within schools that were given attention from the media after suspected mental illness links to violent shootings.

     While Napolitano’s attempt to ‘swim against the current’ in order to address growing mental health concerns is commendable, it seems unlikely that her bill will become a reality as Republicans continue to cut budgets further.

     Some see these proposed budget cuts as a necessity given our country’s current economic condition, while others feel that critical programs will lose funding and in turn will cause further complications on a national level.

     No matter which side you agree with, the fact remains that mental illness has become an increasingly important social concern that should be given further attention regardless of whether or not it comes from federal or private funding.

-Larissa Rymko-

Photo from Associated Press

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