Budget cuts to the Wyoming Department of Health are causing reductions in the state’s mental-health and substance-abuse services, with bigger impacts projected after July 1st. Andi Summerville with the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers says centers are losing seven-point-five million dollars in state contracts to serve people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford to pay. The cuts come as centers are receiving a significant increase in crisis calls.
Summerville said, “We’re still at that level presently today, where crisis calls are much higher than they’ve ever been. In terms of timing, this certainly compounds an already difficult pandemic.”
Summerville says many of the calls are from people who have never received mental-health services before. Centers are currently laying off providers and staff, reducing hours, discontinuing programs, and may soon be forced to reduce the number of available residential beds for mental health and substance abuse.