The coalition also recommends expansion of community treatment programs to fill the needs of a growing number of mentally ill cases and to have a place for the mentally ill to go instead of sitting in jail.
The mental health system is going to need more resources. Gov. Mark Dayton’s overall health and human services budget is mostly flat for the coming two years, but he has targeted expanding funding for school mental health services and mental health crisis centers.
That’s moving in the right direction.
School-linked mental health services would get an additional $7.4 million and mental health crisis centers would get $2 million that would allow for expansion in 16 additional counties. Another $2 million would allow people with psychiatric problems to transition out of hospital settings.
The proposals will improve treatment for the mentally ill and enhance public safety. They deserve to be acted on and implemented. That couldn’t happen too soon.