Over 200 people gathered at the Huntsville Public Library on May 11, 2015 to recognize May as Mental Health Awareness month and to highlight the impact on local service availability should the currently proposed FY 16 state budget for the Alabama Department of Mental Health become a reality. Several local providers spoke about the reduction of services that will occur for people with a mental illness or a developmental disability. Family members and consumers shared their stories of how local services have made a positive difference in their lives and voiced their concern about having to do without these much needed supports. Local officials spoke about the economic impact on our community should these funding cuts happen and the increased pressure on local healthcare providers, schools, and law enforcement. The session ended with a briefing on effective ways to contact local legislators and encourage them to support adequate funding in Alabama’s budget for mental health and developmental disability services. Local media coverage of the event can be seen at the following links:

WHNT Channel 19 (CBS): http://whnt.com/2015/05/11/concern-builds-as-mental-health-patients-providers-caregivers-brace-for-possible-budget-cuts/

 WAFF Channel 48 (NBC): http://www.waff.com/story/29028460/mental-healthcare-providers-hold-meeting-on-proposed-budget-cuts