More 'disturbed' people through mental health cuts not reflected in insurance figures: report
The impression that budget cuts in mental healthcare lead to more problems and incidents involving "disturbed persons" is not reflected in the figures of Dutch health insurers, the Volkskrant reports.
Over the past four years expenditures on mental healthcare for adults increased by 10 percent to 3.5 billion euros. The number of times mental healthcare crisis teams were deployed also decreased - from around 70 thousand times in 2013 to around 60 thousand last year.
"The stories about the mental healthcare cuts increasing the number of disturbed persons, for example, can not be substantiated with these figures", Jaap van der Rijst, mental health policy advisor at Health Insurers Nederland, said to the newspaper.
The insurers' figures are at odds with concerns expressed by National Police Chief Erik Akerboom and Rotterdam police chief Frank Paauw in December. According to the Volkskrant, the number of times the police responded to reports about a disturbed person increased from 50 thousand in 2013 to over 80 thousand last year.
"The question is whether the reports of disturbed persons always involve a psychiatric crisis. It can also be other deviant behavior", Van der Rijst said.