Feds Critical Of MS Mental Health Care

The Department of Justice has issued a report critical of the care Mississippi provides for the mentally ill.

During two visits earlier this year, Justice Department officials toured Mississippi Department of Mental Health programs, community mental health centers and a private provider.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the Justice Department found the state was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily institutionalizing thousands of Mississippians with disabilities or mental illness.

MDMH spokeswoman Wendy Bailey says the changes called for by the Justice Department would cost Mississippi more money. No figures are available.

In recent years, Ed Legrand, the MDMH executive director, has called for moving from institutionalization to a community-based system. Bailey says concerns have been how to reconfigure services while expanding services to those on waiting lists and others.