Feds looking into Mississippi’s mental health system

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News from Mississippi

The Department of Justice is investigating Mississippi’s system for providing services for people with mental disabilities.

In two visits thus far, federal officials have toured the state’s Department of Mental Health programs, community mental health centers and a private provider, according to an article by the Clairon-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi. Specifically, the officials are focused on whether or not the state is allocating resources to ensure individuals are living in settings that allow them the most independence according to their needs, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“They don’t think our state has made a sufficient effort to move into community-based services,” said Dave Van, a state officials who has met with Justice Department officials, in the article. “They say we’re institutionally heavy.”

“They have also expressed interest in our state’s Medicaid program and how community-based mental health services are reimbursed by Medicaid,” said Wendy Bailey, director of public information for the Department of Mental Health, in the article..

The Department of Justice’s efforts to enforce the Supreme Court’s 1999 Olmstead decision, which upheld the ADA’s “integration mandate” outlawing unnecessary institutionalization for people with disabilities, can be followed here.