NORTH MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – North Mississippi counties are scrambling for either alternatives or more money to maintain a cost-effective way to handle mental patients other than jail.
Three years ago, the Region Four mental health system established a transitional facility in Tupelo to house people who chancery courts determined to have mental issues. Union County and others were assessed a fee, which was far cheaper than housing them in local jails which didn’t have the facilities or services. Now Region Four says it needs to double the fee and add counties or shut down the service. Both sides say they hope to work out deal by this fall so counties again won’t have to shoulder the expense and liability of mental health services.