Last Wednesday, the state Office of Mental Health released a plan to overhaul its system of providing services over the next four years. It will begin in 2014 and is expected to save $20 million the first year.
OMH’s Centers of Excellence plan will reduce the number of traditional psychiatric centers from 24 to 15, and shift its focus on outpatient treatment and smaller community based programs to house and treat the mentally ill.
Given that the state spend some $6 billion a year on mental health treatment, $20 million in savings is truly a drop in the bucket. But it’s a start, and a small step in the right direction.