Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mental Health Cuts Announced

The AJC is reporting that the state must cut mental health programing and furlough workers to remain fiscally solvent in the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 2010.
[Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities]" spokesman Thomas Wilson said the agency has determined it must cut about $15 million so as not to run out of money by the end of the state fiscal year in June."

"We ... have to find ways to cut expenses to match declining income," said agency Commissioner Dr. Frank Shelp. "What makes that especially difficult is that the obvious fat has been cut from the budget long ago. Now, wherever we scale back, people are going to be affected. "


"The agency will also continue what has been a 5 percent cut to the community service boards, which provide many community-based mental health services to people."

"Another program set for termination is a crisis stabilization program at a state mental hospital in Savannah. The participants move to a community-based operation for services. That move will allow the services to receive Medicaid money."

"Wilson said that despite the cuts, the state still expects to meet the benchmark of being in substantial compliance with the federal requirements for the hospitals by Jan. 15."

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