The debt ceiling crisis has been averted. Whew! Now we can breathe easy, right? Wrong. The agreement to raise the debt ceiling was no more than a punt on fourth and long. Let us be mindful that government funding runs dry on January 15 and the new debt ceiling date is predicted for February 7th.
What this means for us is that we need to double our efforts to document examples of the impact of federal budget cuts on children's mental health services and supports. We have been collecting stories from agency providers, teachers and family members but we need more. Please consider sharing your experience with us. If you are interested in telling your story please contact us.
Here are some sample questions for you to think about as you prepare your comments:
For providers of services….
- Describe how and if you are connected to any federal program.
- Do you receive a federal funding (e.g., grant) directly?
- If so, what are you doing with your funding?
- Do you administer a program that provides services?
- If so, what types services do you provide and what types of people/communities do you serve?
- How has your program has been affected by federal budget cuts?
- In what ways have the cuts changed how you run the grant/program? Are you seeing trends in the amount and quality of services provide
- Are you serving fewer people?
- Laying off staff?
- Offering fewer services?
- Unable to meet increased demand?
- In what ways have the cuts prevented you from undertaking new initiatives, that is, what aren’t you able to do that you would/should do if not for the cuts?
- What broader impact do these cuts have on your ability to carry out your work/mission?
- What does this mean for those you serve/employ?
For beneficiaries of services….
- Are you and/or does your family benefit directly from the program/services?
- If so, who and in what ways?
- Has your access to this program been limited?
- When did you start to see things change?
- Has it gotten worse over time?
- What types of services did you previously receive that you don’t anymore?
- What types of services would you like to receive that you are being denied access to?
- How has this changed yours and your family’s daily life? How will this impact your future and/or that of your family?
- If you could say one thing to policymakers in Washington right now about the budget cuts, what would you say?
Okay Network faithful, time to speak your mind. Send your stories in today! You can email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail to:
- The impact of federal budget cuts
Children's Mental Health Network
2201 Wilshire Drive
Durham, NC 27707
President & CEO
Children’s Mental Health Network