A Healthy Blog

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Impact of the Cuts: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee to Hold Oversight Hearings Tomorrow

Impact of the Cuts: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee to Hold Oversight Hearings Tomorrow

April 8, 2009

Late last year, when we were just beginning to grasp the scope of the economic crisis, Governor Patrick warned legislators, advocates, and the public that the cuts he would have to make would not be fat. He would be cutting muscle.

Barely 6 months later, the pain of these cuts are being felt, particularly by individuals and families served by the Department of Mental Health. Disproportionately impacted by reductions both through 9c cuts and House 1, DMH clients have seen a loss of residential treatment beds, day and work programs, as well as 25% of the total number of caseworkers.

Tomorrow, starting at 1:00 pm in Room A1 of the State House, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee co-chairs Representative Liz Malia and Senator Jen Flanagan will hold the first of two oversight hearings on the real impact of budget cuts. Thursday’s hearing will focus on mental health and the second hearing will be dedicated to substance abuse.

The Committee has extended invitations to a range of service providers and advocates to testify, including Marylou Sudders of MSPCC, Dr. David DeMaso of Children’s Hospital Boston, and Lisa Lambert of the Parent-Professional Advocacy League.

The hearing itself is open to the public and anyone who is interested in mental health should come to show their support.
Matt Noyes