Mental health advocates decry state budget cuts

On top of that, the expiration of enhanced federal Medicaid funding at the end of June will make things worse for those states that used the temporary increase to beef up their mental health services: Oregon, for example, stands to lose $156 million because of the expiration after increasing mental health services by $57.4 million over three years.

The report makes five recommendations to state lawmakers:

• Protect state mental health funding and restore budget cuts, but tie funding to performance;

• Maintain adequate numbers of inpatient beds for psychiatric treatment;

• Invest in research on early detection and intervention in the treatment of serious mental illness in youth and adults;

• Implement mental health screening and assessment programs; and

• Support programs designed to educate families, peers and the public about serious mental illness and how to respond to people living with mental illness.