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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Letter to the Editor: Minnesota's mental health care system can't handle any more cuts

  • Contact your legislators to tell them.
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      Comment
  • As an advocate for mental health care and as a citizen of Minnesota, I am writing with great concern about the shape of the Mental Health Care System in Minnesota. Several years back, the mental health community was excited as funding for services were building up and we were able to start creating a system of mental health care that really worked. Programs and services were being created and implemented to really help those needing mental health care in our great state!
        Then the economic crisis hit Minnesota – as it did nation-wide. We as parents, family, care-givers, patients, and professionals understood this and we saw cuts coming and worked to preserve what we could. Consistently, year after year we have seen the mental health care system gutted of funding.
        During the last three to four years major cuts were made to the health and human services budget. There were over $60 million in cuts made to the mental health system - a system that everyone knows is fragile and underfunded. I can't understand why the Democrats in the legislature would propose cutting over $150 million from health and human services. This funding takes care of children and adults with mental illnesses, people with disabilities and older adults. It funds mental health centers and providers, hospitals, and nursing homes. I urge our legislators to revisit this decision - it will have a negative impact on our community.
        I do not believe that the mental health system in Minnesota can sustain any more financial cuts. We are seeing problems with care systems, continuity of care, and services in general because of the cuts we already have made. Our children and adults living with mental health needs cannot lose any more basic services. Mental health care has to become a priority for Minnesota. Please call our local leaders in the Minnesota government.
        Call your State Representatives and your Senators today and ask them to stop gutting this funding. This population is already underserved, the system itself ready to collapse, and we need to keep our mental health system of care functioning! Local leaders can be contacted here:  Debra Kiel - 01B - MN House -651-296-5091 or 800-339-9041 and Leroy Stumpf - 01 - MN Senate - (651) 296-8660.
        You can also call the leadership of the House and Senate here: Senator Bakk, 651-296-8881; Senator Sieben, 651-297-8060; Representative Thissen, 651-296-5375; Representative Murphy, 651-296-8799.
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