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Experts Say Mental Illness Remains Challenging

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE: 2/27 at 4:33 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Experts in treating mental illness say it remains difficult to understand and will cost the state more money and more lives if not treated.

The testimony came during the first meeting Wednesday of a new bipartisan Assembly task force examining mental health issues.

Experts in the field say one out of four people in Wisconsin is associated with certain types of mental illness such as paranoia and depression. They say that could expand to half of the state's residents.
Experts say the complexity of mental illness has left it underestimated and underfunded.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos created the task force to study mental health issues in Wisconsin and if they are related to violence.

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ORIGINAL STORY: 2/26 at 11:02 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he will propose increasing funding for mental health services across Wisconsin by $30 million.

Walker told the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Counties Association on Wednesday that he's been looking into the state's mental health needs, but the effort took on added urgency following mass shootings in the state and across the country.

Walker will propose the funding in his two-year state budget to be introduced on Feb. 20.

He says the money will go into expanding services statewide that currently are only offered in some counties. That includes coordinated mental health care for juveniles, comprehensive care designed to reduce hospitalizations, and adding inpatient treatment units at the Mendota Mental Health Institute.

Walker says he feels mental health is an area that's often overlooked.


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