Mental Health Day brings resources

Greg Salzer

JEFFERSON CITY – Live music played on the steps outside the Missouri Capital while information on state resources on mental illness was distributed indoors in the rotunda on April 19, Missouri’s Mental Health Awareness Day at the State Capital.

Meanwhile, legislators continue their work on perfecting the state budget.

Under the budget proposed by Gov. Matt Blunt, mental health programs would have seen funding rollbacks.

“We would be happy with the current Senate bill,” said Nancy Greimann, vice president of Community Relations for Midwest Behavioral Healthcare (MBH).

MBH is contracted by the state Department of Mental Health to provide behavioral healthcare services for 31 Missouri counties.

“Everyone needs to be aware,” Greimann said, ” [Mental health] beds have dwindled over last few years.”

The Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MiMH) budget is to be cut 20 percent.

Services keeping mental health consumers out of costly state inpatient programs would have to be cut, said Mark Brennan, MiMH employee.

“The costs would go up, up, up,” Brennan said.

The rotunda floor was filled with booths mental health providers and consumer organizations providing information.