Supervisors decide not to cut mental health budget

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Harrison County supervisors, after a plea by Chancery Clerk John McAdams, reversed their decision on Monday to cut the county’s share of the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center’s budget by 5 percent.

Director Jeff Bennett tells The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/14X7TvW) the center provides a full range of mental health services to Harrison, Hancock, Stone and Pearl River counties.

“Following Katrina, because of the severe economic impact on the Coast and the four counties we serve and the lack of tax revenue coming in and we had some cuts, we lost several thousand dollars,” Bennett said. “Then the oil spill comes and again some cuts. Fortunately we were able to get some grants, FEMA grants and so on, that covered those losses.”

One of its most successful programs, he said, is the Crisis Stabilization Unit in Gulfport that serves all four counties.

“That’s for people with significant mental illness who have in all likelihood been committed,” he said. “They’re evaluated there and held there in an effort to keep people from going to the state hospital. What we’re able to do in about 85 to 90 percent of the cases is treat the people right there and discharge them back to the communities where their families are.”

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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