Budget Cuts, Discovering What We Need to Fund

As States cut budgets, the death of counselor in a group home in Massachusetts shows how cutting the budget of agencies that serve individuals with no lobby or money to throw at politicians affects the lives of the State citizens horribly.

Please consider that cutting the budgets for schools, prisons, legal counsel, mental health, child protection and health care for low income children creates a situation that exposes the public to danger. If we do not care for, educate and create law-abiding, healthy citizens with the children who are in school now, we will be required to spend more money on inmates in the future.

Increasingly, children’s mental health issues are being identified but going untreated because parents fail to appreciate the need for treatment or treatment is unavailable. Schools and other state agencies fail to properly identify the problems within family and lacking treatment. Treatment providers, paid the bare minimum, miss significant problems for these children.

These children become criminals. Inmates who are housed without real rehabilitation options will be back in the system because no one will employ them, no one taught them new ways to behave, they have no access to medical treatment.

Wake up folks. While I don’t believe the citizens of this country are required to provide services, I do believe failure to teach people who haven’t learned better will result in the downfall of this country.

Like the young man in the mental health story above, children and adults in need of treatment are shuttled from facility to facility. Paperwork is lost, medications changed. Once a person with significant mental health issues has medication that works, that treatment should not change. Medicaid, however, has protocols and rules.

Oftentimes, the severely mentally ill permit their Medicaid to lapse because they don’t understand the significance, the implications or they just don’t care. Then once it’s restarted, the severely mental ill patient, with a known prescription must start all over again with “trying” medications. Why? Bureaucracy. Red Tape.

The existing system in many agencies fails to meet the needs for our communities. The budget cuts result in fewer serves with less efficient delivery. Our communities will have more problems not fewer.

But, hey, at least the pool still open for the summer.

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