Supervisors decide not to cut mental health budget

Director Jeff Bennett tells The Sun Herald reports ( the center provides a full range of mental health services to Harrison, Hancock, Stone and Pearl River counties. “Following Katrina, because of the severe economic impact on the Coast and the four counties we serve and the lack of tax revenue coming in and we had some cuts, we lost several thousand dollars,” Bennett said. “Then the oil spill comes and again some cuts. Fortunately we were able to get some grants, FEMA grants and so on, that covered those losses.” One of its most successful programs, he said, is the Crisis Stabilization Unit in Gulfport that serves all four counties. “That’s for people with significant mental illness who have in all likelihood been committed,” he said.
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Mental Health First Aid training in Springfield

CDT, August 21, 2013 SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– It’s first aid of a different kind, and instructors believe it’s just as important. Folks from all over the state are in Springfield learning how to respond to someone having a mental health crisis. It’s the first Mental Health First Aid mass training in Missouri. There are about 200 people going through the two day training at University Plaza Convention Center. They’re from a variety of backgrounds, but many are emergency responders and faith leaders. At some point, every one of us is likely to meet someone suffering a mental health crisis. “The myth is that mental health problems are not common, but one in five individuals could have a mental health illness in the United States alone,” says Jermine Alberty, Mental Health First Aid project director. Ladell Flowers is the director of a faith-based clinical treatment program, Dismas House of Kansas City, and sees mental health issues daily. “It seems like now more than ever before, there’s so many crises, the economy crunch, and people are just, as the kids say, wiggin out,” says Flowers. He’s just one of many hoping to gain new resources and knowledge. “We’re grateful for God, for this opportunity,” Flowers says. “Often people, when they don’t know what to do, they don’t do anything. So to give them the information to do something with empowers them to help,” says Alberty.
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