Pearl River County Board of Supervisors will hold special meeting on Monday


The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors will have a special meeting on Monday, July 29, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. to respond to the Department of Mental Health on the issues at hand with Region 13 Gulf Coast Mental Health Center and respond to the letter of intent.

The Gulf Coast Mental Health Center notified the boards of supervisors in Harrison, Hancock, Pearl River and Stone counties that the grant-funded agency will be unable to fund services after Aug. 11. Officials said they will inform the state's chancery courts that the agency will be unable to accept involuntary commitments after August 1st.

In the letter to county supervisors, the clinic's board of commissioners said it will begin referring all clients to community providers. Because the clinic receives state and federal funds, the Department of Mental Health will be notified to provide assistance with placing the residents in the two supervised living group homes. The letter also said assistance will also be requested on how to discontinue the other services, including the crisis stabilization unit.

The state Department of Mental Health said after the letter went to the supervisors in Region 13 that it will step in to provide “limited financial resources” to continue community mental health services that thousands of Coast residents might have lost.

Gulf Coast Mental Health Center serves Harrison, Hancock, Stone, and Pearl River counties, with outpatient clinics located in each county. The regional center also has two residential homes, a crisis stabilization unit for those who are civilly committed, and programs for people with severe mental disorders and developmental disabilities.

County supervisors across Region 13 - which includes Hancock, Harrison, Stone and Pearl River counties - approved a stop-gap measure to keep Gulf Coast Mental Health Center facilities open for at least the next three months.

In order to do that, each county will funnel 50 percent of their total-year mental health budget to GCMHC right now. Because they agreed to show a commitment to mental health via these funds, the state Department of Health stated it will kick in an additional $1.5 million to help.

The special meeting for the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors will be on Monday, July 29, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the board room in Poplarville on Julia Street.

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