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County seeks to exit fiscally troubled mental health board

August 28, 2019

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) — One south Mississippi county wants to switch mental health boards, leaving a financially troubled provider.

The Picayune Item reports Pearl River County supervisors are seeking permission from the state Department of Mental Health to leave the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center, which includes Pearl River and three other counties. That Gulfport-based mental health board has teetered near financial collapse in recent months, with counties advancing future contributions to keep it afloat.

Now, Pearl River Supervisors say they’d like to join Hattiesburg-based Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources, which now serves nine counties.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin says Pine Belt will decide on the request Thursday. The shift could take place Oct. 1.

About 700 patients use Gulf Coast’s services in Picayune each year, with Pearl River County paying about $200,000 annually.

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Information from: Picayune Item, http://www.picayuneitem.com

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