Five years ago it wasn’t against the law in Connecticut to get historical records. Now, after the mental health community’s end run around proper legislative practice, it is time to once again enable our historians and researchers and poets and biographers access to the information they need to explain who we are to each other.
The governor’s proposed budget, with $25.5 million cuts to the safety net for people with severe mental illness and substance use problems will have a two-fold effect. No money will be saved, and dollars will shift from evidence-based treatment provided to people in their communities, to a variety of expensive and inappropriate alternatives, such as increased inpatient hospitalizations, emergency room visits, incarceration, and nursing home placements.
The Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven is a jewel. Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed cuts to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services would undermine the Connecticut Mental Health Center and set back efforts to improve the lives of people with mental illness.
Cutting state funding to Connecticut’s five regional mental health boards is a little like deciding to drive without dashboard warning lights and gauges. Things will go fine for a while, then, when trouble goes unnoticed, serious harm can result.