July 30, 2014

Governor wants $30 million boost for mental health care

Governor Scott Walker announces a $30 million proposed investment for mental health services. Walker tells the Wisconsin Counties Association, the plan involves a statewide expansion of existing programs which helps children and adults in both in-patient and out-patient settings.

For example, Comprehensive Community Services which works to improve the lives of the severely mentally ill. Walker will devote $10 million of state money which will provide $6 million relief for county taxpayers in the 26 counties where the program is already in place.

Walker will also commit $12.5 million to expand in-patient evaluation and treatment services at Mendota Health Institute. The governor says this will provide relief to county jails that house those on a waiting list to receive psychiatric evaluations.

Walker says realized the need for adequate funding of mental health care during his time as Milwaukee County executive. Then, a year ago, his Department of Health Services began looking more closely at the issue and Walker’s personal involvement was amplified following recent shooting massacres. The governor says the common theme in the tragedies was the gunmen had “extreme, unchecked, untreated mental illness.”

The governor will include the plan in his state budget proposal.

AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (1:04)