Newly elected Republican Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback has proposed to cut mental health funding to 24 facilities that treat 70,000 Kansans. At the same time, Brownback recommended cutting $5 million in “family-centered” grants for therapy to 5,000 children each month with severe emotional disorders and to support their families.
“We’re very troubled by the policy decision,” said Mike Hammond, executive director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas. “Mental health is just as important as physical health.”
Perhaps Governor Brownback missed the events of the last week. Perhaps Governor Brownback has not been privy to the national debate on the effects of the Ronald Reagan cuts to mental health services. Given the Virginia Tech shooting, the recent shooting in Tuscon and other countless tragedies, I cannot fathom how the governor of a state could even consider cutting mental health care when the system is stretched so thin to begin with.
Sam Brownback will gut this state of social services. He has expressed a desire to cut benefits to single mothers as well. Brownback believes that “rewarding” single mothers (or fathers) with food stamps threatens the “traditional family”.
Does Sam Brownback think taking mental health services away from 75,000 families will be good for the traditional family?
I am quite certain that the State of Kansas has plenty of people who absolutely need mental health care. I saw one of them yesterday, walking down the street in the cold, yelling at himself. The man was obviously homeless, obviously mentally disturbed and quite likely a danger to himself and others. This man is probably not receiving any mental health treatment, and Brownback thinks we can afford to cut $15.2 million dollars from the system.
Why don’t we cut Sam Brownback’s paycheck, instead? Why don’t we use all that money the credit card companies donated to Brownback’s campaign?
Given the events of the last week, only an insensitive, tone deaf moron would propose cutting mental health care funding to the poor. Period.