Counselors Are Worried

November 20, 1991

Members of the Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission shared concerns of a decrease in public services due to recent budget cuts.

Howard Held, director of the county's Mental Health Bureau, encouraged representatives from the various departments to "keep their spirits up" during these uncertain times.

Sue Doyle, nursing supervisor for residential services, expressedfears to the commission for those addicts in need of residential care in the county.

"There is no longer a detox service available or long-term care," she said. "The only service available is the 30-day intermediate program. We only have 20 beds left to serve the people who would use any of these three programs."

Doyle said that so far their biggest problem has been discharging patients.

"We have no resources for placement," she said. "There are only so many long-term programs in the area, and all of them are full."

In addition to concerns for addicts, Doyle and her staff are working on a plan to provide services to homeless people.

Doyle said this service used to be provided by the Shoemaker House detoxification center and possibly could be continued.

"We are looking at what kind of staff we wouldneed, the changes that would have to be made," she said. "Right now,we are in the process of brainstorming. We are hoping to be able to do something during the winter months, since that is when the serviceis most needed."

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