In signing the FY 2011 State Budget last week, Governor Patrick made reductions to a number of line items, including three that directly impact children living with mental health needs:
· Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services were reduced by $400,000;
· Early Education Mental Health Consultations were reduced by $250,000; and
· The Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative took more than a $1 million cut.
There are other programs at risk as well. The situation is dire to say the least. The solution may be found just about 500 miles south of here in Washington DC. As we have previously posted in this blog, the US Senate is considering legislation that would provide Massachusetts with hundreds of millions of dollars in increased FMAP funds. Our very own Senator Brown holds the swing vote in this debate. It is more important than ever to tell Senator Brown how important FMAP funds are for the Commonwealth. Do whatever you can to get the message through to the Senator: phone, email, letter, fax, carrier pigeon, pony express – leave no method unused.
To combine a couple of campaign slogans, together we can save programs for children with mental health needs – the Time is NOW!