Men’s Alcohol and Drug Commitments a Thing of the Past
May 12, 2016 § 5 Comments
The Department of Mental Health announced that, effective July 1, 2016, it will no longer accept new male patients into its drug and alcohol treatment facilities at Whitfield and Meridian. The programs are being discontinued due to budget cuts by the Mississippi legislature.
Men who are on the agency’s waiting list will be admitted until the cut-off date, but no new patients will be added to the list.
More than 50 employees will be laid off, although some will be eligible for reassignment to other jobs.
Women’s alcohol and drug treatment services at Whitfield will continue for now. Those services were unavailable for women in Meridian.
In this part of the state, Weems Community Mental Health offers an alcohol and drug treatment program, but it accepts voluntary patients only, all of whom must pay for treatment on a sliding scale.
Also, I understand that the number of psychiatric beds at East Mississippi, Whitfield, and smaller facilities is being scaled back for budgetary reasons, but I don’t have any particulars.
These are the people in the shadows about whom I have blogged here before.
[Note: This is the best information I could piece together; if I learn anything different, I will edit this post.]
[…] Our legislature slashed the Department of Mental Health’s budget, and that agency, forced to do its job on mere chickenfeed, has slashed services. It’s a topic I’ve discussed before here and here. […]
Chancellor Primeaux – I am disappointed by this
application of budget cuts and closure of vital services
needed in these areas of addiction and mental illness
for our citizens.
As Special Master for almost 19 years prior to becoming
a Chancellor, I have a better than average understanding
of the necessity of continuing maintenance, care, treatment,
and therapy programs for the addicted and mentally ill.
I will volunteer to speak to these concerns at the next session
of the Legislature should you know of an effort to have
these cuts revisited and the programs reinstated.
There are plenty of statistics out there at this time about
the profound adverse effect of these cuts on our State Dept. of
Mental Health programs.
These cuts will negatively impact commitments in Chancery and
our ability to help those in need in all 82 counties…..in my view.
Legally how can the state still provide services for women that are now denied to men? Seem that our Legislature jus wants Mississippi to be sued over and over again?
It is hard to measure the cost, in funds and the emotional toll, to the to the individuals, their families and the communities in which their folks live. Whatever happened to compassion and empathy? I see in in our local communities where it is not about politics.
Sad thing is when these folks (mental health issues) don’t get help, then they end up on our prisons/jails which costs 5 times a much, but we will never learn.