In addition to promoting awareness about mental illness and the availability of treatments, Mental Health America of Wisconsin President Kristina Finnel says advocates are concerned about the effects of funding cuts to the state Department of Health Services as proposed in the next state budget.
“So that really takes a huge toll on the public services that are available for those who don’t have insurance. With those cuts, it also includes mental health funding…”
Governor Walker’s proposed 2011-2013 budget includes $500 million in cuts to Medicaid, which covers 1.2 million people in Wisconsin’s medical assistance programs, like SeniorCare, BadgerCare Plus, and Family Care. All agencies must do more with less. Finnel’s job is to figure out how to deal with the cuts.
“You know, that’s sort of the million dollar question that I don’t really have a perfect answer to.”
Finnel says they’ll have to be creative; they’ll work with the health department to find efficiencies and alternative ways to save money.
May is Mental Health Awareness month.