Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kentucky gets low marks for mental health spending

Written by Chris Kenning The Courier-Journal 
Kentucky’s budget for mental health services has remained stagnant in recent years, and the state ranks well below the national average in per capita mental health funding.
Only a fraction of mental health facilities offer residential treatment, the most comprehensive care for the severely ill. State Medicaid rates for mental health services haven’t been raised substantially in years. And some argue the overall system is disjointed and fragmented.
“Demand has grown and funding hasn’t met demand,” said Dr. Allen Brenzel, medical director of the state’s Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.
 "Officials at the Treatment Advocacy Center say the shootings show a need to expand court-ordered outpatient treatment programs, allow hospital commitments before a situation reaches the point of provable risk of violence, and increase beds."
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