Budget Apocalypse: The Brutish View from DHS

From Willamette Week, April 22 2009

Local mental health and addiction services and state prisons aren’t the only potential budget cuts that could make life more brutish in Portland.

The potential loss of several key programs at the state Department of Human Services is truly sobering.

Following is a list of six programs that would be lost from DHS’ addictions and mental health division in a worst-case, 30-percent-cut scenario:

• Eliminating acute inpatient psychiatric care for nearly 6,000 adults.

• Eliminating 24-hour psychiatric community crisis services. About 15,200 use these services each year.

• Eliminating adult outpatient mental health services for 2,925 adults per year who are not eligible for Medicaid.

• Eliminating alcohol and drug prevention programs for more than
1,500 families per biennium.

• Eliminating problem gambling prevention and treatment that 3,700 clients access every year.

• Eliminating a mental health housing fund that’s helped house 261 people with chronic mental illness in the last four years.