- Call the leadership of the house and senate and say “ I (live with a mental illness, have a family member/child with a mental illness, work in the mental health field) and I strongly urge you to increase the target for the health and human services budget. The mental health system has been cut over $60 million the past four years and it cannot take any more cuts. Do not balance the budget on the backs of children and adults with mental illnesses.” Make the calls NOW and TOMORROW. The phone numbers are: Senator Bakk, 651-296-8881;Senator Sieben, 651-297-8060;Representative Thissen, 651-296-5375;Representative Murphy, 651-296-8799
- Call your own state senator and representative and leave that same message. If your legislator is holding a town hall meeting next week, attend it and give them that same message. One thing to remember is that there are “internal” politics and so our friends who want to change this need to say “I am hearing from my constituents.”
- Write a letter to the editor. Remember, the legislature is taking a break next week. We would like to see letters to the editor in every paper, particularly the ones in greater Minnesota. Trust us when we say that this will have a huge impact. Since many papers are weekly – please send it now. Here is the basic outline for your letter, please put it in your own words:
During the last three to four years major cuts were made to the health and human services budget. There were over $60 million in cuts made to the mental health system – a system that everyone knows is fragile and underfunded. I can’t understand why the Democrats in the legislature would propose cutting over $150 million from health and human services. This funding takes care of children and adults with mental illnesses, people with disabilities and older adults. It funds mental health centers and providers, hospitals, and nursing homes. I urge our legislators to revisit this decision – it will have a negative impact on our community.