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Nixon Proposes $20 Million To Train Mental Health Professionals

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri is sorely lacking in mental health services, but he hopes to fix that with more higher education spending. 

Speaking Wednesday at UMKC’s School of Nursing, the Governor said his balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 included $20 million in grants for schools to train future psychiatrists, psychologist and mental health nurses.

Only 10 of the state’s 114 counties currently have adequate mental health care, according to a federal report.

Nixon said more mental health professionals could help prevent tragedies like last year’s Sandy Hook shooting, and help communities cope with disasters like the Joplin tornado.

“As we learned over this last year and that reaction, we just didn’t have enough health care professionals to deal with the challenge,” he said.

Nixon’s budget would give nearly $5 million to UMKC and Metropolitan Community College to help train 1200 students statewide. 

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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