MANKATO — Following a series of budget cuts to Health and Human Services by the Minnesota Legislature, Wilma Colfax, a certified mental health counselor with fifteen years of experience, has been replaced by a 24”x36” inspirational poster, sources say.
“We are committed to providing much needed mental health services to our communities,” one Mankato-area lawmaker said in a statement. “But we just couldn’t justify the high cost of providing much needed mental health services to our communities.”
Colfax, who received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota, had been earning a $41,320 annual salary at the time of her termination. By comparison, the poster, which features an adorable kitten clinging to a tree limb and a speech bubble which reads “Hang In There” was purchased for two dollars at a local Goodwill.
Critics of the move have complained about long wait times in front of the poster and an increasing need for well-trained professionals. In response, officials have promised they will look into purchasing a second poster if next year’s funding allows.