NAMI Asks Editors: Are You Covering Your State's Mental Health Budget Crisis?

Apr 06 2010

Arlington, Va. — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today released a three-month sample of headlines from national and state media on America's mental health crisis in the face of massive state budget cuts.

"Many newspapers, television stations and radio networks around the country are covering the crisis," said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. "Some are taking editorial stands."

"We want every editor, producer, state capitol reporter and health reporter at every level simply to pause and ask themselves: Are they covering their state's mental health crisis and all its implications?"

"Here are samples of what colleagues elsewhere are doing."

"Mental health cuts end up costing all of us more through lost jobs and careers, broken families, more homelessness, higher insurance costs, more welfare and much more expensive costs for hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, police and courts, jails and prisons," said Fitzpatrick.

"State legislatures are still making decisions in many parts of the country."

NAMI provides background for both advocates and the news media through its State Advocacy 2010 Web site, including a table comparing the number of adults with serious mental illness in each state with the number who receive state mental health services. The site also provides estimates for the number of children who live with serious mental health conditions in each state.

Mental Health Crisis: Headlines and Links

March 2010

The Roanoke Times, 3/20

State cuts may cripple mandated reforms

Bloomington Pantagraph, 3/16

Mental health service providers on Quinn's chopping block

The Tennessean, 3/15

Mental Health System Faces a Severe Crisis

San Francisco Examiner, 3/15

Budget cuts put strain on city's mental health services

Greenville News, 3/15

South Carolina budget cuts shift care of mentally ill to families, communities

Idaho Statesman, 3/15

Idaho cuts hit state mental hospitals

Minnesota Public Radio, 3/10

Budget shortfall leads state mental health programs to cut 200 positions

Arizona Republic, 3/10

Judge OKs a pause in state mental health case

ChicagoTribune, 3/12

Don't cut any more in human services

Daily Breeze (California), 3/8

Mental health program endangered

Lake Expo (Missouri), 3/7

Social service agencies fear impact of state budget cuts

San JoseMercury News, 3/7

It's not just the Capitol: Billions in red ink drowning California's cities, schools and counties, too

Longmont Daily Times, 3/7

Human services cuts hit home

The Washington Post, 3/7

Virginia's backsliding on mental health care promises

Los Angeles Times, 3/6

Overtime pay may be putting a dent in state's furlough savings

Orlando Sentinel, 3/3

Shortchanging mental health a costly and heartless proposition

San Antonio Express, 3/2

Budget cuts shouldn't include mental illness safety net

Greenville Daily Reflector (North Carolina), 3/1

Mental health cuts, reforms leave frustration

WJTV (Mississippi), 3/1

Advocates fear impact of mental health cuts

February 2010

The Omaha World-Herald, 2/27

Clarinda included in proposed cuts

Orlando Sentinel, 2/26

More misery for poor and uninsured; mental health patients turned away

The Tennessean, 2/14

Editorial: mental health services suffer

Rutland Herald (Vermont), 2/13

Expert decries lack of progress on mental health

The Tennessean, 2/8

Tennessee's mental health cuts deepen

January 2010

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.), 1/28

An Update on State Budget Cuts Governors Proposing New Round of Cuts for 2011; At Least 43 States Have Already Imposed Cuts That Hurt Vulnerable Residents

Orlando Sentinel, 1/26

State is Failing Its Mentally Ill

The Free Lance-Star (Virginia), 1/22

State cuts threaten aid to mentally ill  

The Independent Record (Montana), 1/20

Don't cut mental health services

The Oklahoman, 1/15

Oklahoma's mental services suffer cuts; state financial troubles leave care for some patients in limbo

Examiner (Washington, D.C.), 1/13

Budget slashes loom as Va. Lawmakers return to work

Disability Scoop, 1/12

States shift financial woes to people with disabilities

Kaiser Health News, 1/11

Calif. Gov. Schwarzenegger plans health cuts; news outlets report on Medicaid funding issues  

The State (South Carolina), 1/10

$59 million cut from mental health

CNN, 1/9

Surviving with less: real-life consequences of state budget cuts

San Francisco Chronicle, 1/9

Governor plans deep cuts to programs

WCHS 6 (Maine), 1/7

NAMI Maine asks for moratorium on proposed cuts

KOSU Radio (Oklahoma), 1/7

Mental health cuts may affect Okla. communities

Chicago Tribune, 1/6

Federal funds ease anxiety at South Side mental health agency

Other Resources

Grading the States 2009: A Report on America's Healthcare Systems for Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses:

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)

SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness