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PNS Daily News - December 13, 2019 


Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

2020Talks - December 13, 2013  


The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Mental Health Care Workers: More Money for Training is a Good Start

PHOTO: Governor Jay Nixon wants to help prepare 1,200 additional students for employment in mental health-care jobs, but advocates say it will take more than college grants to keep them in the state and serve those who need it most. Photo courtesy of Microsoft images.
PHOTO: Governor Jay Nixon wants to help prepare 1,200 additional students for employment in mental health-care jobs, but advocates say it will take more than college grants to keep them in the state and serve those who need it most. Photo courtesy of Microsoft images.
December 19, 2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As part of his budget plan for next year, Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed an additional $20 million in grants to Missouri's public colleges and universities to help meet a shortage of mental health care workers.

But those who work in the field say money alone isn't enough.

Cindi Keele, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Missouri, says because Missouri didn't pass an expansion of Medicaid, there is a risk that graduates will leave the state to seek employment in places such as Iowa and Arkansas, which did.

"Those two border states are going to have more money available to pay mental health professionals,” she explains. “And I'm concerned that if we don't expand Medicaid that we might lose mental health care and other health care professionals to our bordering states."

Under Nixon's proposal, the grants would be used to train clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists and advanced nurse practitioners, as well as to hire new faculty members, expand programs and buy new equipment.

Keele points out the funds will go a long way toward enticing students and strengthening their educational experiences, but she says there is still much work to be done when it comes to removing the stigma surrounding mental health and those who work in the field.

"Too many people just don't understand mental health treatment,” she maintains. “They don't understand that mental illness is real and it's a treatable disorder and that people do recover all the time."

NAMI estimates that one in five Americans will suffer from some form of mental illness at some point during his or her life.


Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO