Mental Health Budgets Cuts "Going to Hurt" - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Mental Health Budgets Cuts "Going to Hurt"

Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - As Texas tries to dig itself out of an $18-billiondeficit, local mental health services are on the chopping block. NewsChannel 10's Kristen Guilfoos spoke with several people fighting to keep the funding who say they're not the only ones who have something to lose.

Governor Perry wants the Department of State Health Services to cut $246 million.

That means the Texas Panhandle Mental Health Mental Retardation Center would have funding cut by $1 million, forcing them to scale back certain services, which they say will leave hundreds all across the panhandle without the help they need.

TPMHMR's Jim Womack says, "We're not going to be able to reach them when they need it and they'll end up in the hospital, in the emergencies rooms or in jails before they can get treatment. Which in the long run is going to cost more money for local tax payers. It's much more cost effective to treat someone in the community than it is to treat them in jail or in the hospital."

Right now, MHMR treats about 7,500 people... Many of them through their community outreach program, which targets the mentally ill before it's too late and they end up in the jail or hospital.

That's what would get axed if Perry's requested budget cuts become reality.

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