National Council Members Testify at NASMHPD Congressional Briefing on State Cuts to the Public Mental Health Safety Net

by Rebecca Farley on February 17, 2011

The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors on Wednesday hosted a congressional briefing to release the results of a nationwide survey showing that states have been forced to cut nearly $2.2 billion from public mental health services over the course of the economic recession. The NASMHPD briefing was supported by the National Council, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness, the National Disability Rights Network and the Mental Health Liaison Group.

At the briefing, representatives from two National Council member organizations testified: Sheilah Clay, CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit and Craig Knoll, Executive Director of Threshold Services in Silver Spring, MD spoke about the impact of state budget cuts on their organizations. Susan Reed, a consumer of services from Threshold, spoke about the important role these services have played in her life and her recovery. Commander Shereece Fleming-Freeman of the City of Detroit Police Department shared her perspective on the cost-shifting that occurs when people with mental illness do not receive adequate treatment. U.S. Army Retired Lt. Col. James Walsh, President of NAMI Alabama and father of a son with mental illness, spoke about the toll that untreated mental illness takes on families and communities. To view slides and testimony from this briefing, click below:

  • Powerpoint presentation and introductory remarks by Kevin Martone, Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and President of NASMHPD
  • Testimony of Craig Knoll, Executive Director, Threshold Services, Silver Spring, MD
  • Testimony of Commander Shereece Fleming-Freeman, Central District, City of Detroit Police Department
  • Testimony of U.S. Army Retired Lt. Col. James (Jimmy) Walsh, President of NAMI Alabama
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