Budget woes could cut local mental health program Yearly class is geared toward caregivers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Department of Mental Health grant for the Family-to-Family course offered by the Mississippi Chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness is due to expire Sept. 30, which means the Vicksburg classes set for next month could be the last, NAMI member Harriette Mastin said.

“Because of that, in the future we will have to raise funding on the local basis,” Mastin said. “NAMI Mississippi is not a huge organization with a huge budget.”

She said the course, offered free of charge, costs NAMI some $2,000 a year to organize. “We don’t know when we will be able to offer the course again,” Mastin said.

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“Due to budgetary restraints, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health has had to make tough economic decisions which have resulted in programs enduring substantial cuts and/or depletion of funding,” DMH spokesman Wendy Bailey said in a statement.