State Cuts $48.2 million In Mental Health Funding

A new report shows North Carolina's cuts to mental health budgets are some of the highest in the country.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness report released Thursday shows, between the 2011 and 2012 fiscal year, North Carolina cut $48.2 million.

Across the nation, 28 states and the District of Columbia cut nearly $1.7 billion from their mental health budgets since the 2009 fiscal year. Among the other 22 states, mental health budgets increased about $487 million, though NAMI cautions that spending has been offset by legislatures' funding cuts to Medicaid, the largest public payer of mental health care.

The organization's executive director says the net result of these huge budget cuts is fewer services, longer waiting lists and crowded emergency rooms.

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