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About one-thousand people rallied across the street from the State Capitol this morning to urge against cuts in mental health services.

The demonstration occurred as Governor Bill Owens delivered his
annual State of the State address to Colorado lawmakers.

The Legislature must cut 850 (m) million dollars from this
year's budget.

Advocates for mental health services say previously-announced
cuts have already forced reductions in services for indigent people
and for optional services not required by Medicaid. Those include
peer support counseling, parenting training and other programs.

Demonstrators say further cuts would eliminate some services and
lead to higher treatment costs in the long term.

The Mental Health Association of Colorado says a state-funded
report last year found at least 67-thousand residents needing
mental health treatment can't get care.