Mental health budget increased
Extraordinary stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and commissioners’ belief it will drive up demand for mental health treatment, prompted them to increase funding to help defray its cost.
Prairie View requested the county give $93,798 this year. The agency’s request letter said behavioral health interventions are important to avoid preventable hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to emergency departments.
“Work productivity is improved when mental health needs are addressed,” Prairie View’s letter said.
In the last year, the agency evaluated 47 county residents for possible admission to a state mental hospital. Twenty-four of them were.
“Prairie View incurred a cost of $12,398 to transport these patients,” it said.
Commissioner Randy Dallke was concerned about Prairie View’s request.
“What if everybody came in and asked for this kind of money?” - said.
Commissioner Kent Becker argued in support of the increase. He said mental health and physical health were connected, and he thought the demand for mental health services would rise because of stress caused by the pandemic.
Commissioners voted to give Prairie View $93,798 for this year, and reassess its funding next year.