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Gov. Nixon signs budget making historic investments in mental he - KOAM TV 7

Gov. Nixon signs budget making historic investments in mental health services

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Jackson County, MO -

Gov. Jay Nixon joined advocates and caregivers at Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County – eitas (empowering individuals through advocacy and support) today to sign House Bill 2010, the Fiscal Year 2017 budget for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The budget includes historic investments in services for Missourians with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders, increasing state and federal funding for the Department of Mental Health by more than $200 million.

“Working together, we have made Missouri a national leader in helping Missourians with developmental disabilities lead healthier, happier and more independent lives,” said Gov. Nixon. “This budget builds on these achievements and helps ensure Missourians with developmental disabilities have access to the high-quality services they need to live with independence and dignity.”

The budget passed by the General Assembly answers the Governor’s call to ensure that there continues to be no waiting list for in-home services for low-income Missourians with developmental disabilities, with a $14 million increase. When Gov. Nixon took office, many Missourians had to wait months or even years for the services they needed to live independently.  Today, that waiting list has been eliminated.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon created the Partnership for Hope, which provides home- and community-based services to Missourians with developmental disabilities and their families. The Partnership for Hope, the first of its kind in the nation, is now helping more than 4,300 people with developmental disabilities in 103 counties and the City of St. Louis.  Since 2010, the program has served a total of 466 individuals and families in Jackson County.

The FY2017 budget also includes a 3 percent rate increase and rebasing for providers of services for Missourians with developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders. The budget also provides an increase of $18.2 million to expand access to Crisis Residential Services for individuals whose conditions have become so severe that they can no longer be cared for in their homes.

In 2010, Gov. Nixon spearheaded the bipartisan effort to pass the law mandating the coverage of autism diagnosis and treatment. For the first time, insurance companies were required to cover one of the most highly effective types of therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA. While effective, the cost of ABA can exceed tens of thousands of dollars a year, making insurance coverage necessary for most families.  

In 2015, United Cerebral Palsy ranked Missouri third in the nation – and second most-improved since 2007 – for providing quality services that improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. 

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