On Jan. 18, Gov. Scott released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2023. It calls for $7.7 billion in spending by the state, which would represent an increase of $350 million over the previous year.
The executive budget recommends an appropriation of $287,273,887 for the Department of Mental Health (DMH), $3 million more than the legislature authorized last May. Under this proposal, $2 million would expand a pilot program that started last year, when Rutland Mental Health Services received a $600,000 DMH grant to begin dispatching “mobile response” teams to young people experiencing mental health crises in their homes and schools.
Mobile response services aim to prevent visits to emergency rooms, where delays in psychiatric admissions for children prompted a legislative inquiry last year.
In Scott’s words, the program in Rutland “is making a real difference, so we will build on it with nearly $2 million more to serve four additional communities.” Another $1 million would go toward DMH’s suicide prevention program.
The proposed budget also “fully funds mental health professionals in all our State Police barracks,” according to the governor’s office.