Mental Health Services for 1.6 Million Louisiana Residents on the Chopping Block
If proposed budget cuts for the Louisiana Department of Health are enacted, more than 1.6 million people living in the Bayou State will be affected. It's hard to say exactly where some of the cuts would fall, but one thing is sure: a lot of people will lose the care they are accustomed to, and in many cases desperately need.
Unless some sort of intervention in the State Senate occurs, the State budget set to kick in on July 1st will cut $235 million from the agency. According to NOLA.com, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee says that they would have no choice but to eliminate care for schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and many other serious mental disorders.
What's at stake are services and treatments for people who are stable enough not to need in-patient care, but do require more than a weekly doctors visit. This covers a huge range of illnesses that affect both adults and children suffering from various conditions that result in anything from paranoia and anxiety to depression, aggressive behavior, and even hallucinations.
According to Gee:
We cannot take a billion dollars in additional cuts and not have an impact on the lives and safety of the people of Louisiana,"