Mental health care services in question

Hundreds of people across the Coast will soon be losing community mental health services.

Board members for the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center announced they will no longer be able to fund services after August 11th. This comes after the grant-funded agency that provides them has run out of money.

Kay Daneault is with the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi and she says though the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center is closing that’s not the end all be all for mental health care services on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “We do have other providers on the Coast who offer the same type of services. So, we do have other resources out there. I think one of the main issues is maybe that they see people who don’t have insurance so you’ve got folks with no means to pay and they’ve worked out a system where they can still see them regardless of what they are able to pay. There are other providers that do that, but I think there will be more conversation around the Coast to see who is able to pick up folks and in what capacity.”

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors have issued a statement in regards to the Mental Health Center closing, saying in part: “The Harrison County Board of Supervisors has had a commitment to public mental health for more than 50 years. As part of the four-county commission, the board has funded region XIII Gulf Coast Mental Health Center at $1.4 million for the fiscal year 2019. This was an increase of about $175,000 from the previous year’s budget.”

“The funding for fiscal year 2019, which was to be appropriated over 12 months, was paid in full in June for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

“The Harrison County Board of Supervisors is disheartened by the announcement from Gulf Coast Mental Health Centers, as mental health is something that affects many of the residents of our county.”

“The board has reached out to its partner counties as well as state and local agencies to find a viable solution to this issue.”

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