Mental Health Facility Faces Cuts
POSTED: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 5:56pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 16, 2010 - 9:14pm
El Paso -- El Paso Mental Health-Mental Retardation is facing a budget shortfall, again. The facility says state budget cuts will threaten some of the facility's services. While some patients say, they can't afford to see a stop in service, there are some who say the facility isn't worth saving.
Erlinda Estrada's 43 year-old daughter, Vanessa Ruiz, suffers from depression and type one diabetes. Earlier this year her diabetes was so bad, doctors had to amputate her leg. For the last five years Vanessa has been a patient of El Paso Mental Health-Mental Retardation. Her mother says the facility has only made Vanessa's condition worse. "Vanessa doesn't only need medication, she needs counseling. They would medicate to the point to where I call it stupid. She couldn't even function", states Estrada.
But, not every patient's story is the same as Vanessa's. George Marcelet has been a patient at M-H-M-R for over a decade and says he is happier then he's ever been. "I'm to the point where I can go forward. I'm going to go back to school to get my G.E.D. and maybe work in mental health as well."
However, Erlinda Estrada argues MHMR isn't living up to its reputation. "It's an organization that's supposed to help people, and I've heard it has helped some, but in Vanessa's case it hasn't helped her at all."