Possible Budget Cuts Could Affect MHMR in Big Spring

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

Budget cuts could be on the way for the Mental Health Center in Big Spring. The Governor's proposed a ten percent cut for next year. Now the center's scrambling to prepare for the worst.

West Texas Centers for Mental Health and Mental Retardation or MHMR is the mental health authority in West Texas. With a waiting list already in place, the new cuts that might take place will force more people to go without the necessary mental care.

"Right now, we have about 90 individuals on the waiting list.  If the bill passes, it will be a larger waiting list," Amy Vidal with MHMR, said.

Currently West Texas Centers for MHMR serves 2,000 individuals each month. With the ten percent cut, the center would have to cut back on the number of people they can see.

"150 less adults and 30 less adolescents," Vidal said.

But that is just here in West Texas, according to MHMR, 20,000 Texans across the Lone Star state could loose access to mental health care.

"If bill passes, it will impact many individuals. It will mean the emergency rooms will get more filled as well as jails," Vidal said.

With the cut, the MHMR's 4 million dollar budget would get slashed by $600,000 but all of this is not set in stone.

"Right now, we are just evaluating. We are contacting our local judges and submitting letters to state representatives," Vidal said.

If this bill is passed, it will take affect in September 2011. All of the proposals must be submitted by the start of the next legislative session in January.

NewsWest 9 tried calling the Governors Office but have not received a call back.