To the Editor:
In the last five years, mental health and substance use disorder services funding was cut by $8.25 million in Rhode Island, while demand for these critical services has steadily increased by 30 percent. This has led to significant cuts in programs and underpaid, overworked clinicians have become stretched to their breaking points.
The proposed 2015 budget paints an even darker picture of what could lie ahead. If CNOM (Cost Not Otherwise Matchable) funding is eliminated, thousands of Rhode Islanders will be barred from accessing mental health services they desperately need. This, coupled by a reduction in Medicaid health homes funding, is a recipe for disaster. One need only pick up the Beacon to learn of yet another tragedy that could have been prevented if the individual had received the help they required.
We must work together to create a safer Rhode Island. Please call your representatives and senators today, and ask them to ensure funding for vital mental health services is not further eroded.
David S. Lauterbach, ACSW
President & CEO,
The Kent Center