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Sunday, September 13, 2009

State House Dome: Mental-health budget cuts on the table

Under the State House Dome in the Union Leader, Tom Fahey reports that Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas is considering cuts to a mental health program, while state bureaucrats are predicting a parade of horrible should they cuts come to pass.
Roland Lamy, executive director of NHCBHA, said the cuts mean longer waits for services, fewer residential beds in community centers, more admissions to the state hospital, higher criminal-justice costs and elimination of transportation services the mentally ill depend on to take care of basic needs. He noted that the budget assumed case loads would increase during the next two years.

"Our position is that approval of these reductions would be effectively turning our backs on those most in need, knowing what the outcome will be," Lamy wrote Erik Riera, administrator of the Bureau of Behavioral Health.

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