Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nearly 50 Percent Of Mental Health Services Recipients In Giffords' County Were Dropped In 2010

WASHINGTON -- In the past year, Pima County, Ariz., where Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others were shot Saturday, has seen more than 45 percent of its mental health services recipients forced off the public rolls, a service advocate told The Huffington Post.

The deep cuts in treatment were protested strongly at the time, with opponents warning that they would result in a spike in suicide attempts, public disturbances, hospitalizations and brushes with the police. But according to Clarke Romans, executive director for southern Arizona's branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the state government ignored requests for relief, citing the need to implement strict budget controls.

Now, in the wake of this weekend's horrific shootings, reports on the seemingly crazed mental state of the alleged shooter -- who was not, apparently, enrolled in any public treatment program -- is leading politicians, reporters and activists to take a fresh look at the funding of mental health care.

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