Mental health needs merit solutions

By

Opinion

June 19, 2019 - 10:13 AM

Our state has failed to provide enough funding to community mental health centers to truly meet the need for care. Individuals with the most severe, persistent mental illness are those most likely to fall into service gaps, often ending up homeless, in the corrections system, or in nursing homes.

The nursing homes charged with serving mentally ill Kansans are the focus of a recent report from the Disability Rights Center, which poses good questions about funding priorities and care in the mental health system.

On any given day, more than 500,000 people with mental illness — excluding dementia — reside in U.S. nursing homes, with over half of those individuals younger than 65, according to a Harvard Medical School study. Many experts believe these facilities, despite their best efforts, are not designed or well-equipped to meet the needs of this population.

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