State Commissioner Visits Jackson
The commissioner of Mental Health for Tennessee makes a stop in Jackson. Douglas Varney took time to discuss mental health and substance abuse issues with Jackson-Madison County officials. Varney talked with Sheriff David Woolfork and city judge Blake Anderson about the issues affecting courts, jails and communities. Commissioner Varney said after hearing about the efforts of both Drug and Mental Health Court, he wanted to see first hand how it is affecting those in the system. “I really want to go to communities like Jackson like I see here, where there’s really pockets of excellence around, things that’s being done a little outside the box, stretching the envelope, trying some new things and really having some tremendous success, to try to go there and find out as much as I can about how they’re doing that and encourage other communities to adopt these strategies,” said Doug Varney, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health.” They have good data on that and good successes. And I think even, we saw here it will save this county over a million dollars. We’ve got to look at places, communities that are doing things like that. And I’d heard about that Drug Court, Mental Health Court. And again it took their leadership and I wanted to come out and meet these men and talk to them and get their ideas.” Governor Bill Haslam recently appointed Varney to serve as commissioner in his cabinet.