Mental health cuts could be detrimental to the state

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - One of the members of The Department of Mental Health, Robert Landrum, says if the state cuts the mental health budget by 5 percent, or $13 million, that means the department will probably shut down.

Landrum says it could mean closing six mental health hospitals in the state including Ellisville State School and South Mississippi Mental Health.

Landrum says, "We are putting individuals out there that have no family members to take care of them."

He says mental health patients aren't all intellectually disabled. He says they suffer from disorders such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety. He says when clinically diagnosis patients are off their medicine anything can happen.

"It brings more crime into the community is what it does. They are not really doing a crime against you. They don't understand that they can't have what you got," said Landrum. "They are absolutely destitute and don't know what to do. They got little things running around in there head for some reason and they don't know why those things are there. They think everybody is like them."

Landrum says the justice system and the state must think twice before cutting mental health funding. He says although it is not your family today it could easily effect someone you love tomorrow.

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.