AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Community mental health advocates say proposed cuts in spending for treatment services will have a devastating impact in Maine. They also say those cuts won't save money.
Members of the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness say the budget cuts are "random reductions" that will end up terminating some essential services for Mainers coping with mental illness -- and that means that more and more people will end up in hospital emergency rooms or in jail.
NAMI Maine is asking Governor Baldacci to put a freeze on current spending and to appoint a special commission to evaluate proposed cuts.
"We think it's time to stop and look carefully at what we're spending, where are our mental health dollars going and let's make some very good, wise decisions about what the state needs for mental health spending. What works best? Let's keep that. Let's cut the things that don't work," says NAMI Maine Executive Director Carol Carothers.
A public hearing is scheduled next Wednesday in Augusta on the mental health budget.