Cash Trashed

Letter to the Editor: Restore Funding

October 28th, 2011 Posted by Advocacy, Letters, Media, Published Media 0 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Restore Funding”

Published: Herald Independent, Oct. 28, 2011

As we consider the financial crises taking place in our state, there is a sector of our population that has perhaps taken the worst hit of all—the mentally ill and their families. It is a statistical fact that during economic downturns, those with mental illness suffer worse financial stress.

The State of S.C. has severely slashed the budget for the mentally ill – over 40 percent in the last three years, from $220 million to $130 million. Yet, the net result is that there are no actual savings for the tax payer!

Consider that outpatient treatment comes to an annual expense of only $2,400 per individual. Unfortunately, when this treatment is not available to the mentally ill, it results in these individuals going to hospitals or prisons, which are a far worse and much more expensive environments to receive care.

The Department of Corrections spends over $17,000 each year per inmate, and this is not taking into account police costs, court costs, public defenders, etc. An estimated 55 percent of the prisoner population suffers from the medical issue of mental illness. This leads to severe behavioral problems and, in some cases, suicide.

Please help organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) fight for mental health reform by contacting your representatives and letting them know that money cut is not money saved!

Paton Blough
Greenville, S.C.

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  • “It has been one of my greatest rewards as NAMI Greenville, SC Program Director to see your recovery from when we first met to your award as NAMI South Carolina’s Recovery Person of the Year to your appearance on the same stage with author Pete Early. I hope your book is every bit as successful as his has been.”

    Brian Lewis
    • Fletcher Mann
    • Program Director NAMI Greenville, SC
  • “It’s incredible. If you aren’t sure, always go for Cast. I don’t always clop, but when I do, it’s because of Cast. I made back the purchase price in just 48 hours!”

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