The initial recommendation of the commissioner of mental health to the governors request for a 5% decrease in budget was to recommend that 4.5 million dollars be taken from the budget for peer support centers. That would leave 0 for next year.
It makes you just want to shake your head. When I heard I emailed a bunch of people. I thought I had misheard. I knew no one could seriously make such a suggestion. I was wrong.
Peer support centers do two primary things. They save money and they save lives. A lot.
For a few dollars a day per person served peer support centers give a chance at success for people who have never had success. People who have never made it in the community make it. The last figures I saw indicated a 90% decrease in psychiatric hospitalization. The savings from that alone should almost pay for the program. In a time when the jails are filling with the mentally ill how in the world can we shut down one of the most successful community based services we have?? This program defines the notion of "bang for your buck." How is this in any way a savings?? We lecture our children about thinking before they act and considering the long term consequences of their actions. Shouldnt we expect the same out of ourselves and particularly our political leaders?
But it is more than an economic issue. It is more than a political issue. It is profoundly a moral issue and it is wrong!!!
If it actually sees the light of day it will be the planned abandonment of one of the most vulnerable populations in this state who basically have no where else to turn for this kind of help for a short term financial gain that in the end will cost far more than it saves. In plain terms it will be an act of large cruelty.
I urge you to stand loud and express your opinions. This is an old battle we thought done last year when support for peer support become recurring dollars. Once again we are a political football. Now is the time to end the game.
hopeworkscommunity | November 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Categories: Uncategorized |