Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Sessions / New Fears

We are in the beginnings of another session of the Texas Legislature and the  rumors and reality of the budget are starting to take their toll.   Many people are  fearful and  considering leaving community agencies to get a more stable position with  large companies. Mental health  professionals are watching the cuts carefully, as we all know there are already not enough of us to handle the people that have some sort of  payment ability. What will happen when say Child Psychiatrist go out of business or stop taking  the poor kids who have  CHIP or Medicaid  because they are being paid less than minimum wage for their services. I totally understand the need to be fiscally responsible. But there has to be some balance. Every time the political party changes, so does the  swing. First we spend like crazy, then the swing happens and we cut into the bone. There have been rounds of testimony from advocacy groups, psychiatrists, therapists, foster care , and concerned individuals. Hopefully they can come up with a reasonable plan to secure the  state without sacrificing the people who live here. We are already at the bottom of the heap with regard to education, and mental health.
It could be this fear that is spreading across the state via every media channel there is, is causing  a lot of turmoil within families. Doom and gloom don't make for a stable family. Whatever the reason, I have seen a huge increase in the calls for mental health care for kids. Currently, there is very little a family can do but wait the 3-6 months for an appointment with a child  psychiatrist. Maybe that is why there are so many kids in hospitals now.... the wait was too long.
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