Mississippi city rejects mental health facility despite need

Health News

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — (10/9/19) Officials in southwest Mississippi are denying a rezoning request for a mental health facility, despite complaints that the area is underserved.

Natchez aldermen unanimously rejected rezoning property to allow a crisis stabilization unit, a small mental hospital meant to keep people from being sent to faraway state hospitals or jail.

Opponents say the facility is inappropriate for a mostly residential neighborhood.

Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Executive Director Sherlene Vince tells The Natchez Democrat that city documents improperly labeled the unit as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Alderwoman Sarah Carter Smith says Natchez needs the unit, but says “there has to be a better place for it.”

The rejection comes even though Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten has repeatedly said his county has few resources to help mentally ill people.

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