Budget Papers – Mental Health

2011-2013 Legislative Budget and Priorities – Mental Health

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Equitable mental health services.

Survival Recommendations:

  • Increase the State contribution to the “state” share of Medicaid for MH services.
  • Increase use of evidence-based consumer-operated services, such as crisis respite services, and use of peer specialists in MH programs.
  • Implementation of pilot projects for MH transformation focusing on shared services across counties, implementation of identified core services and integration of MH and primary care (Infrastructure Study)
  • Ensure availability of wraparound programs for children with serious emotional disturbances in all counties/tribes.
  • Ensure that Wisconsin prisons implement national standards for mental health treatment of inmates and increase options for jail diversion for this population.

Mental health (MH) issues infiltrate many areas touched by the state budget and policy; schools, corrections, long-term care and, of course, the public mental health system. As a result the mental health agenda can be fairly complex. However, a few key themes can be noted:

  • The desire to develop a more recovery-oriented mental health system incorporating more options for consumer-run services and peer support.
  • The need to move more people with mental illness from institutional settings to community-based care. This is not limited to psychiatric hospitals and nursing facilities but also includes correctional settings where 31% of inmates have a mental illness requiring treatment.
  • The need to ensure more equitable access to services across the State.

A key policy issue that serves as a barrier to the development of a better public mental health system is the requirement for county match for Medicaid mental health services: along with the decreases in Community Aids and the lack of availability of waivers for this population this has led to very significant county use of property tax funds for mental health services and inequities in services across counties.
Key policy issues (both legislative and agency) are:

  • Limiting use of seclusion and restraint in schools and treatment facilities.
  • Monitoring implementation of MH parity and health care reform, including eHealth
  • Transitioning youth from children to adult services and from juvenile justice to community.
  • MH issues in Family Care and SSI managed care
  • Badger Care Plus CORE plan MH coverage.
  • Prior authorization for MH services.
  • Changes to Chapter 51 related to emergency detention, crisis response.
  • Consent to treatment by minors.

For additional information contact: Shel Gross, shelgross@tds.net.