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Cuts to Calif. Mental Health Care Could Leave Patients With Nowhere To Turn, Advocates Say

Earlier this summer, legislators cut about $92 million from California’s mental health budget. Moreover, county-level programs are facing additional strain from deferred state payments and declining tax revenue.

Advocates are concerned that the recent funding losses will prevent community groups from continuing to provide crucial services to people with mental health issues.

In a California Healthline Special Report by David Gorn, experts discussed how budget shortfalls could affect the state’s mental health services.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • John Buck, executive director of Turning Point Community Programs;
  • Patricia Ryan, executive director of the California Mental Health Directors Association; and
  • Rusty Selix, executive director of the Mental Health Association in California.

Experts say cutting mental health programs could drive some patients into homeless shelters and hospital emergency departments, thus placing additional strain on state services. 

Meanwhile, some programs are starting to focus on lower-cost offerings for mental health care, such as peer counseling (Gorn, California Healthline, 9/17).

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