Maine and Mental Illness: Services Found to be Lacking 

A court-named analyst says the state of Maine is out of compliance again with a long-standing agreement to meet the needs of mentally ill people. Elizabeth Jones, who was hired to evaluate the effects of state budget cuts on services to some 12,000 mentally ill people, filed her 18-page report Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court. Jones concludes, “that the Department has failed to balance funding for all individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Furthermore, significant shifts and reductions in funding for certain programs and/or services have negatively impacted the delivery of mental health services throughout the State. These actions are inconsistent with the requirements of the Consent Decree and bar attainment of substantial compliance.” For the complete report Click here. State officials agreed to comply with a consent decree by 1995, but have been found in contempt of court several times for missing court deadlines. Commissioner Brenda Harvey of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been contacted by TV5. A spokesman tells us she is still analyzing the report.