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Malloy To Boost Mental Health Spending $7.2M

by Christine Stuart | Jan 24, 2014 5:29pm
(3) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Town News, Hartford, Health Care, Public Safety, State Budget

Christine Stuart photo

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Patricia Rehmer

When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy began rolling out parts of his budget package Friday, he started by proposing an additional $7.2 million in mental health services.

“While we in Connecticut have always been proud of our mental health system, the tragedy of Sandy Hook has caused us to identify the need to do better,” Malloy said at a press conference at the Capitol Region Mental Health Center in Hartford.

The governor’s budget will include $250,000 for an anti-stigma media campaign, $2.2 million in new funding for 110 Rental Assistance Program vouchers, $5 million to increase mental health services to young adults and other difficult to reach populations, and crisis intervention training for police officers.

It’s unclear exactly how much the training for police officers will cost, but Malloy’s proposal would make it mandatory for all police officers to receive the training at some point over the next three years.

Cromwell Police Chief Anthony Salvatore, who is chairman of the Police Officers Standards and Training Council, said they don’t know how much it will cost, but what they expect to do is provide the training over a period of time for veteran officers.

“We are incorporating this training into our in-service training classes,” Salvatore said.

State Police Sgt. Matthew Garcia said changes over the past several decades to mental health institutions “have put individuals in need back into the community.”

“Although a positive step for many, there are those with severe mental illness and psychiatric issues that will at some point have contact with law enforcement. It is imperative that officers across the board receive the training that will allow them to better assess and handle situations,” Garcia said. “It also affords the best chance for a peaceful outcome.”

Asked if $7.2 million was enough of a response to mental health issues, Malloy said, “I don’t know whether it’s enough. If it isn’t we’ll make more available.”

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Patricia Rehmer said the legislation passed last April included additional support for those with mental health issues.

While the debate over the legislation passed last April focused on firearm restrictions, there were also provisions that increased spending on mental health services and programs by about $5.5 million.

The goal of Friday’s proposal is to put together services so people with mental illness can recover and live fulfilling lives, Malloy said.

Malloy will unveil his entire budget on Feb. 5.

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(3) Comments

posted by: Art Vandelay | January 24, 2014  9:46pm

Adam Lanza’s one senseless act had major repercussions.  As a taxpayer in Connecticut his loan act is costing me a fortune.  Increased security,  more union paid officers to patrol schools, metal detectors, bullet proof glass and the list goes on.  Adam Lanza!  You’re driving me into poverty.  Thanks allot.

posted by: dano860 | January 25, 2014  9:41am

As reported on Fox News:
“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed budget will include $10 million to expand a school security grant program created by the legislature last year as part of its response to the Newtown school shootings.”
Where does he think this money is growing?
All of this security is to placate the unknowing. Most of it comes in the form of technology, technology that becomes outdated real fast. It also requires a ton of maintenance. That pushes the cost cart further down the road, meaning the towns will have a much bigger education bill in the future. (Read as tax increases)
Please apply some common sense to these perceived problems. There must be a proven, to work, goal that they are striving for. They love to just toss money at an issue without any follow up and non performance penalties.

posted by: StanMuzyk | January 26, 2014  1:14pm

“Money is no object for Gov. Malloy.” He is the biggest spender of all governor’s in our state history and has imposed the highest taxes on taxpayer’s also. Aided and abetted by his rubber stamp Democratic General Assembly—“he has virtually removed us from the frying pan into the fire.”  Malloy made a priority out of his security. His West Coast personal Democratic Party fundraising junket—cost taxpayer’s “a bundle of money” in state police guard security overtime pay alone.
No one can say our governor is thrifty with our money. He is the biggest uncaring contributor to state deficit spending.