What’s the real story on New Mexico’s mental health spending?

With the dual controversies over mental health in New Mexico (both the Gov.’s HSD shakeup and now the role of mental health in Albuquerque’s shootings) the left is on the warpath. Tax hikes have been proposed in Albuquerque, ostensibly for more mental health spending, and New Mexico Sen. Bill O’Neill stated in an opinion piece in the Albuquerque Journal that “New Mexico continues to rank 50th in the country in funding for mental health services.”

I’ve already addressed the tax hike proposal, but I am wondering where this talking point about New Mexico’s mental health spending is coming from. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, New Mexico is firmly in the middle of the pack when it comes to per-capita mental health spending. Worse, I couldn’t find a single article on the Internet stating that New Mexico had the lowest spending in the nation when it comes to mental health.

There are discussions to be had about the Gov.’s HSD reforms as well as the police and mental health systems in Albuquerque, but both need to be informed by accurate data and a better understanding of the various policy options available whether those might require additional funding or not.

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2 Replies to “What’s the real story on New Mexico’s mental health spending?”

  1. Regarding the loonies and “mental health”, in keeping with the current wisdom that American culture is “sick”, it is the definition or scope of mental health that keeps being expanded. That includes, obviously, the whole home-on-the-range of “social services” which are pushed as root causes. In that expanded context, no amount of funding is enough to satisfy the pushers. Of course, as you say, there are real issues and reform is certainly possible. But at heart a form of social paranoia…old Trotsky-style stuff. The great conspiracy against what these cults regard as sanity.

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