The Cost of Mental Health Funding Cuts

Word of the shootings in Arizona has triggered speculation by many as to possible causes contributing to the tragedy. The continuing problem with violent rhetoric has been the center of speculation, but recently reporters have begun to turn to cuts in mental health services in Pima County Arizona.

Regardless of whether the cuts in services in the area that the shooter lived were a direct factor, it cannot be eliminated as a factor. Over the last year, the state of Arizona has sought to make up budget shortfalls by at least partially removing services that provided treatment for people suffering similar mental problems as the shooter. Forty Five percent of the recipients of mental health assistance supplied by state funds in Pima County had their help ended.

At the time the defenders of health care services warned that jumps in suicide rates, hospitalizations and public disturbances involving police. This has all come to pass since the cuts, with the result that the public is paying just as much as before, if not more, just at different places and times. It is estimated that 15,000 people had made use of services funded at least in part by the state of Arizona. Keep in mind that these are only people that sought the services – Mr. Loughner never sought services despite references to such services by the Community College he was attending. If he had, it is entirely likely that he would have been turned away, just as thousands of others are currently being turned away.

When I worked in IT, one of my jobs was at a bank headquarters providing support to VP’s and officers. In one case, a VP was given a big bonus for cutting costs for the bank. He had cancelled the printer maintenance agreement that the bank had in place with no replacement. A single service call to a single printer in one of their banks now cost more than the contract to cover all the printers in that same bank for a year. Sometimes saved money is not really saved, and that is what we are looking at with these cuts to mental health services.

The one positive about Arizona is that the state actually has laws in place that make it easier for people to petition courts to have an individual committed involuntarily. Unfortunately, the cuts in services are canceling out that very slight advantage, by denying services to those most in need.

What is the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program?

The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant is authorized by Part B of Title XIX of the Public Health Service Act and is the single largest Federal contribution dedicated to improving mental health service systems across the country. The Center for Mental Health Services’ Community Mental Health Services Block Grant awards grants to the States to provide mental health services to people with mental disorders. Through the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, a joint Federal-State partnership, CMHS supports existing public services and encourages the development of creative and cost-effective systems of community-based care for people with serious mental disorders. With the current changes in the health care delivery system, improving access to community-based systems is especially important. CMHS is the Federal agency that oversees State Mental Health Plans and Implementation Reports, using mental health experts for the regional consultative application review process.

Who does the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program serve?

o In communities throughout the United States, mental disorders affect people of all ages and in all walks of life. Almost 54 million adults in the United States are affected by mental disorders in any given year.

o Preliminary studies indicate that more than 12 million children (20 percent of all children) in the United States experience mental and emotional disturbances while growing up.

o Each year in the United States, more than 5 million adults and children are diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and other serious mental disorders. People with these disorders have extensive and complex needs, and most individuals quickly exhaust available insurance benefits. At that point, they and their families often turn to their States and the public system of mental health care.

What does the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program do?

o Because what is effective in one State may not be effective in another, the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant works in close collaboration with each State or Territory to develop and implement its own State Mental Health Plan for improving community-based services and reducing reliance on hospitalization. The program stipulates that case management be provided to individuals with the most serious mental disorders and encourages appropriate partnerships among a wide range of health, dental, mental health, vocational, housing, and educational services. The program also promotes partnerships among Federal, State, and local government agencies.

o The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant supports grassroots involvement of the major stakeholders in mental health services at both the State and the Federal levels. Each State or Territory is required to have a mental health planning council to review the State Mental Health Plan. Each council must include consumers of mental health services and family members, as well as service providers and State officials. The State also is required to seek comments from the public on its plan.

o At the Federal level, mental health planning council members-including family members, consumers, State officials, and service providers-serve as CMHS reviewers of State Mental Health Plans and Implementation Reports. They often share their expertise at regional and national technical assistance meetings.

What types of technical assistance does CMHS provide?

Five percent of funding is set aside for the Center for Mental Health Services to provide technical assistance, data collection, and evaluation activities to States and territories and their representatives, as well as mental health

o The Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program, designed to develop minimum data standards that provide a basis for uniform, comparable, high-quality statistics on mental health services;

o The National Reporting Program, the only national source of information on mental health organizations, services, and service recipients; and

o National Technical Assistance Centers: one of which evaluates systems that serve children, another of which evaluates systems that serve adults, and the third of which provides technical assistance to the States for mental health planning.

CMHS conducts national and regional technical assistance meetings dealing with the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant application process, the enhancement of existing systems of community mental health services, strategies for transitioning into a managed care environment, development of a national set of mental health objectives, and use of consumer outcome objectives.

o Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Funding

For free information about the Mental Health Block Grant Program and other CMHS programs – including publications, references, and referrals to local and national resources and organizations – call 1.800.789.2647; (TDD) 1.866.889.2647.

With Much Love,

Arthur Buchanan


Out of Darkness & Into the Light

43 Oakwood Ave. Suite 1012

Huron Ohio, 44839

They are calling Arthur Buchanan’s methods of recovering from mental illness REVOLUTIONARY! (MEDICAL COLLEGE OF MICHIGAN) ‘Arthur Buchanan has given us a revolutionary blue print for recovery in these uncertain times, when Mental Illness at a all time high in the United States of America, yet if you follow this young mans methods, we assure you of positive results and I QUOTE ‘If these methods are followed precisely, their is no way you can’t see positive results with whatever illness you have’ -Dr. Herbert Palos Detroit, Michigan

Senior Depression – Mental Health Services in Long-Term Care Facilities

For seniors who live independently, mental health is largely dependent on their capacity for self awareness and their willingness to seek appropriate care. For those living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, the situation is a little more tenuous. As the numbers show, depressive and behavioral disorders are prevalent in these settings. In addition to the usual stresses associated with aging, such as loss of loved ones, physical deterioration, and fears related to death, seniors in long-term care facilities often struggle with increased isolation and debilitating physical ailments, which can exacerbate latent mental issues. Since residents of senior facilities are often in poor health and have decreased cognitive functioning, it`s not always easy to evaluate and treat these individuals.

How Medicare Helps Seniors with Depression The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 stipulated screenings for mental illness and the reduced use of physical and chemical restraints. As part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), this law mandated some pivotal changes in nursing home care, emphasizing quality of life. In 1990, Congress responded by revising the Medicare laws, specifying beneficiaries will receive mental health care, if needed. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover blanket screening procedures. This renders it virtually impossible to uncover hidden symptoms that residents sometimes hide to avoid stress and shame. In 2002, however, Medicare recognized the value of psychological services coinciding with the management of medical conditions. I translate this as such: if you’re already physically very ill, your mental health is important. If depression or mental illness is detected, and a doctor refers the resident to a psychiatrist, Medicare will cover 50 percent of the approved amount. This is a hefty co-payment, especially in relation to the 80 percent Medicare covers for doctor;s office visits.

I think it;s safe to say navigating through the Medicare system can be a little confusing. Treating Depression in Long-term Care Facilities Several organizations have emerged to bridge the gap between mental health and long term care. VeriCare, for example, partners with skilled nursing and other residential facilities to create programs tailored to their residents; needs. This company, founded shortly after the Nursing Home Reform Act, improves compliance with OBRA standards and provides behavioral and mental health services unavailable in most long-term care settings. In searching for a long-term care facility, a process Gilbert Guide simplifies, it may be wise to inquire as to what mental health systems they have in place. With over 50 percent of nursing home residents exhibiting signs of depression and under 5 percent of those individuals receiving treatment, it;s crucial to plan ahead. I certainly wouldn’t choose a home for my grandmother if her physical health might be jeopardized. I;m even more hesitant to choose a place that doesn’t recognize her mental well being as equally important.

All About Mental Health Services

We live in a very complex and constantly changing society. We have high expectations placed on us every day. Some of us feel the pressure we put through goals and dreams and others are placed on us by employers and those around us. Most people can manage stress in a given day, but others will stop working if they feel too overwhelmed. Everyone must accept that there are moments in our lives that might need to go to others for help, and is an act of courage and strength, not weakness.

Many people like the mental health services. Unfortunately there is still a stigma to getting help with emotional support. Need to discuss and understand our feelings are caused by weak rather than self-growth. There is nothing weak in obtaining mental health services. Mental health professionals who come with varying degrees and are accessible to all. Some people have suffered from severe and persistent mental illness who require ongoing medical monitoring and frequent counseling sessions. Others may find that the life situation or event, which prevents them from advancing. They may find relief through short-term counseling and medication to treat anxiety or short-term sleep problems.

Many people think that once you begin receiving mental health services need to be involved with them for the rest of his life. This is not true. I can compare the mental health services to legal services. Some large companies or industries that require complex legal advice at all times. You can even hire a lawyer. Other companies or individuals can find legal advice they need to cope with a criminal offense, and some may need an attorney to develop the will of their property. As these are different degrees of legal aid, there are different degrees of mental health services. Just as we do not expect people to know and manage their own legal matters, we should not expect people to manage their own emotional problems that arise.

Most mental health services are covered under standard insurance. The conditions can lead to confusion about who should see. A psychiatrist is a doctor with a specialty in psychology. You can test and people of diagnosis and prescribe medications for their patients. A psychologist has a graduate degree and to test and interpret the evidence to give people a diagnosis, but can not prescribe medication. Therapists and counselors can provide an individual and group talk therapy, but may not administer tests or prescribe medication. In the search for mental health services, be sure to check the credentials of the person who works to ensure they can provide the services you need.