State Mental Health officials say they want a 10% increase in funding, but a state representative claims they need much more. The State Department of Mental Health runs on a $500-Million budget. Department Director Roy Wilson has told the House budget committee he has requested a $54-Million increase for next year and he hedged a bit when asked whether such an increase would finance programs at a proper level. State Representative Charlie Shields of St. Joseph wants Wilson to be more forceful. The percentage of state general revenue dedicated to mental health has dropped from just over 9% to just under 7-and-a-half percent. Shields says if the percentage had held, mental health would have about $100-Million more dollars which he says could be well spent. He says the mentally ill need the strong advocacy only the Department of Mental Health can provide.
Leave a Reply