Today the New York Times had a front page story on the horrible death of a Massachusetts group home worker earlier this year.
I work for SEIU Local 509 , and we represent over 13,000 human service workers in Mass., many of whom work for DMH or DMH funded, but privately operated companies. The issues raised in the article capture the devasting impact of budget cuts on the service delivery system. The mental health budget can not continue to take deep cuts with out putting staff and the persons being served at risk. I have followed this case closely and this is the first I heard that a group home had to bring a knife to work to feel safe. This is so sad. I hope this is a wake up call for those considering whether to cut the DMH budget further. More importantly, we have over 100,000 millionaires in Massachusetts yet some are afraid to ask them to pay a bit more in taxes so services to those in need are not slashed.