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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Briefing today on Hawaii's mental-health services

Advertiser Staff

Lawmakers will hear from Health Department officials today on the future of state-funded services for the severely mentally ill in the Islands.

An informational briefing on the topic starts at 2:45 p.m. in conference room 16 at the state Capitol.
The Health Department is to discuss recent cuts to mental-health services and present “its vision and future direction ... for providing mental health services for Hawaiçi,” an agenda for the briefing said.
The cuts to mental-health services come after a period of significant growth in programs for the mentally ill in the Islands.
Last year, about 16,000 people in the Islands got mental-health services through organizations that have contracts with the state. That's more than triple the number who were receiving services in fiscal year 2003, figures show.
Much of that growth was thanks to public outcries in the 1990s over the condition of the mental-health system.
After a 1991 lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights branch over conditions at the Hawaiçi State Hospital, the state entered into a consent decree that kicked off 15 years of federal oversight over its delivery of mental health services and treatment.
Follow live updates on the briefing at twitter.com/honadvmaryv.