Coakley warns of cuts in mental health programs

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BOSTON (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley is calling on the Legislature to reject proposed cuts in community-based mental health cuts.

The state attorney general unveiled a plan on Monday to deal with what she said was a behavioral health crisis in Massachusetts.

She warned that Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 could eliminate services for hundreds of people with mental health and drug addiction problems. She said lawmakers should restore the funding in their version of the spending plan.

Coakley also called for expansion of peer support programs to help reduce the stigma of mental illness, and for better coordination between primary care and mental health treatment.

Coakley's younger brother, Edward, committed suicide in 1996 after suffering from depression.

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