After a Minnesota company announced that it may have to stop answering calls to a suicide prevention hotline, a Mankato lawmaker is calling on leadership in the Republican-controlled state house to address what has been described in the state and nationwide as a crisis.
DFL Representative Jack Considine said more has to be done at the state level when it comes to mental health. “They keep acknowledging that we have a crisis in mental health, but then when things like the help line that you were referring to come up they say, ‘We don’t have the money’,” he said, “We still have a surplus that was projected in February.”
But Considine said that’s not the only ball being dropped when it comes to the well-being of Minnesotans. He said a bill providing a reimbursement option for federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics remains in limbo and, “That was heard over a year ago. It is $2 million for the health clinics like Open Door here in Mankato that serves so many people, and they’re sitting on pins and needles wondering if they are going to get that money so that they can help with more dental clinics,” he explained.
Open Door CEO Doug Jaeger has said that one in six people nationwide use community health centers, and last year they saw a 25 percent increase in the number of patients they serve.