FREE SPEECH ZONE | Short-sighted Senate “belt-tightening” puts people with mental illness at risk and multiplies taxpayer expenses

Over the past 20 years, Minnesota has created a carefully woven network of community-based mental health services that replaced expensive institutional care. Now, this network is in danger of being seriously damaged-or destroyed-by the Health and Human Services bill passed last week in the Senate. This bill aims to cut nearly $50 million from community mental health services. Let’s be frank. The destruction of this system will be at a phenomenal cost to you, the taxpayer. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Belt-Tightening at the Expense of the Mentally Ill Increases Taxpayer Expenses

It’s a shocking fact that over 54% of homeless people in the Twin Cities have a mental illness. Helping them off the streets can be tough-but a pioneering program at People Incorporated Mental Health Services has been highly successful in working with this vulnerable population, moving scores of people out of the cold and into their own homes in just over two years. Unfortunately, this effective program, created in cooperation with the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry, is earmarked for elimination in Governor Pawlenty’s proposed budget.  Why? Not because they are ineffective, but because it’s easy to cut services to the most vulnerable and disenfranchised. Continue Reading