Mental Health Community Concerned for Future

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Mental Health Day on the Hill revealed several concerns of a vulnerable community

ST. PAUL, MINN – Hundreds of Minnesotans in the mental health community came to St. Paul Thursday to urge lawmakers to make major changes to how Minnesota addresses mental health care. 

Representatives Matt Dean, Nick Zerwas and Laurie Halverson, as well as Senator Tony Lourey discussed mental health legislation, including efforts to limit the amount of segregation and solitary confinement inmates with mental illnesses face.

Several speakers addressed fears the mental health community have with the federal Republican healthcare proposal.

“The other issue is really a federal issue, but it’s making sure that Congress actually doesn’t just change Medicaid and turn it into, almost like a block grant, but certainly a capped amount, because we won’t be able to continue to build our mental health system if they do that.” explains Sue Abderholden, Executive Director of NAMI MN.

Representative Laurie Halverson of Eagan says more state mental health aid was on the way, but accused Republican proposals of derailing the plans, stating, “After waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting, now we’re being asked to wait more because some people need tax cuts.”

The National Association on Mental Illness tells Alpha News they are remaining hopeful as state and local legislation regarding mental health continue to make their way through the legislative process.

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