Mental health proposal divisive

Experts are split over whether Mississippians with serious mental illness will be better served or “devastated” by new proposals targeting community mental health centers.

Mississippi’s Medicaid division, which distributes federal dollars for most of the 15 centers’ programs for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance abuse, rolled out the proposed changes this month.

“They’re cutting services for people who absolutely need them the most,” said Annette Giessner of Ridgeland, whose family has depended on community mental health services.

“I believe more people are going to be institutionalized; I believe more will be picked up by law enforcement,” said Giessner, an advocate for people with serious mental illness and their families.

Clarion Ledger
8/28/11