Smith County Cutbacks Could Harm Mental Illness Treatment

Of the many potential cutbacks by Smith County commissioners, mental healthcare might be one of the most critical.

The Andrews Center is looking at its county funding cut by one-third from where it was just two years ago.  The outpatient facility helps treat mental disease as well as mental retardation.

Already, there is a sixty day waiting list for children to receive treatment, and thirty days for adults suffering from affliction. Now, those lines could get longer.

Childrens' Mental Services Director Skip Womack: "It will mean longer waiting times for those waiting to get services, and folks who don't get needed treatment may end up in the Smith County Jail. They may end up in juvenile probation custody."

The county's proposed cuts come at a time when state funding is dwindling every year.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.