Government Shutdown and Mental Health Programs


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- From national parks to people not working, the government shutdown is affecting many people.

Those involved in mental health say their programs have already been slashed for the past few years.

"We've seen a lot of cutbacks in mental health services across the board for the last four or five years since the recession started," said Dr. Bill Pfohl, WKU Psychology Professor.

The government shutdown is reaching far beyond Washington, D.C.

Some head start programs that help autistic children have been cut.

Pfohl said these groups often get overlooked and then when something major happens like the Navy Yard shooting people ask questions.

"What we're finding is the safety net has been cut. So, as we've cut back more and more and people need these services. Now what's surfacing are these incidents that are catching the news. People are saying, why didn't these people get treated, well the safety net for them is not there," said Pfohl.

Experts say the new affordable health care plan will be a big help to mental health services.

"Everybody has the opportunity to have mental health coverage. Mental health coverage has had equal coverage for about four or five years now. However, the insurance companies have not quite owned up to that obligation," said Pfhol.

Meanwhile, a political stand off continues in Washington with Kentucky senators strongly opposing the new health care law.

"You know 61% percent of the people in Kentucky voted for Romney, 70% percent of the people in Kentucky don't like Obamacare, so the thing is I'm supposed to go an fight to make bills either less bad or make them better if possible. So I think it is my job to provide oversight for legislation," said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

The stalemate continues in Washington, but several hope for a resolution to many programs.


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