Thursday, June 17, 2010
County Communicare active
By SUE WATSON
The board of supervisors was informed about mental health and alcohol and drug rehabilitation services provided by Communicare at a recent meeting of the board.
Mike Roberts, director of Communicare which serves a seven-county district including Marshall, provided an overview of services. These include services of psychiatrists, nurses, counselors, case managers and secretaries and a payroll of $404,330 per year, he said. Currently, 336 clients are on the active case load with about 15 additional cases a month. People of all ages are served. The operating budget for Marshall County Communicare comes to $69,224 a year. The board of supervisors pays $50,000 a year to help support the Communicare office in Marshall County. Communicare operates as a non-profit.
Roberts asked the board to think of Communicare when planning to build new county office facilities.
The office is located at 820 Highway 178 East, Holly Springs, with Megan Taylor over the office. Dr. C.J. Tucker is Marshall County’s mental health commissioner. Willie May Green is director of administrative services and Dixie Church is clinical director.
Communicare, which operates Haven House, a substance abuse rehabilitation center for men and women in Oxford, takes patients who have either insurance or Medicare/Medicaid or who self pay on a sliding scale basis, but has some monies to support those who do not have resources, Roberts said.
“We would like to have a new office and to have a day-treatment program for adults, like we have in other counties,” Roberts said. “Patients stay with them a half a day five days a week to try to prevent hospitalizations and to get patients out of the house and functioning better.”
Roberts said other counties - Tate and Calhoun - have built new offices for the Department of Human Services and Communicare and these agencies pay rent until the loans are retired. After that they pay those counties $200 a month as a maintenance fee.
“If you see you are going to do some public works, think of us,” Roberts said. “We need to have better space.”
Communicare acts as a bridge for patients from rural families after they leave a state hospital, such as one in Tupelo. Once patients are stabilized with medication and other services, they can be served locally by Communicare and often avoid tendencies to relapse.
Supervisor George Zinn III asked what the waiting list for Haven House looked like.
Roberts said there is hardly ever a waiting list at the facility which offers 30 days short-term rehabilitation. Stays can be extended longer.
Communicare services are received on a voluntary basis, but the chancery court can send a patient to a state hospital facility. In those cases, the patient is committed by the family of the patient. The waiting list can be lengthy at a state hospital and in these cases, the involuntarily committed patient has to wait in the county jail until a room is available in Whitfield.
After Roberts completed his presentation, sheriff Kenny Dickerson consulted the doctor on how to obtain services for sick inmates who need help and are out of jail awaiting their court date.
Dickerson said it is a tragedy for a person who has committed a felony to not have access to mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation while they await their court date.
To inquire about Communicare, call 1-662-252-4140 in Holly Springs.
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