Budget Cuts Could Close Newton Facility

Mississippi's largest agency is the Department of Mental Health. Some within the agency say it could face the biggest losses if more cuts are made.

Local mental health administrators discussed their plight with lawmakers Tuesday at East Mississippi State Hospital's annual legislative luncheon.

Debbie Ferguson, director of Central Mississippi Residential Center in Newton said the agency is one of ten that the governor is recommending for closure.

"All those clients will either have to go home, they will go to the streets, or go to jail," Ferguson said. "There aren't enough services out there for everyone."

Ferguson said she expects to find out the fate of CMRC during the next legislative session, which starts in January.

The budget for East Mississippi State Hospital has so far been cut by ten percent.

Officials say even more cuts will mean the closure of the facility's unit for chemical dependency.


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  • by Tom Location: Philadelphia on Dec 9, 2009 at 08:29 AM
    I think the Governor and the Legislature needs to take a long hard look at what they are doing to the mental health system in Mississippi.If they close down facilities such as the on in Newton, where are those people that are being treated there going to go?I think the Governors argument for the closure of these facilities is that these people can be treated at home.That would be great if everyone being treated at a mental health facility would take their medication as directed.What he needs to consider is that most of the people committed to state facilities are not capable of medicating themselves.That is why they are living in those facilities.To simply send patients home will cause an increase in these patients doing harm to themselves and possibly you or someone in your family.Is it going to take someone that is being released from one of these facilities "going postal" for the state to realize that funding cuts to the mental health system is not the answer to state budget problem?
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