Statement on Ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
For more than a decade, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) has focused heavily on the availability of community services, including those services that provide intensive services in the community and divert people from the need for inpatient services at a state hospital. We continue to be dedicated to enhancing community services in Mississippi and decreasing the utilization of inpatient services, while ensuring a continuum of care is available.
In the past 10 years, DMH has utilized state legislative appropriations to fund numerous services at Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) around the state, shifted funding from its state hospitals to the community, and has recently planned the utilization of federal ARPA funds to even further continue the expansion of community services.
As a result, crisis services like Mobile Crisis Response Teams and Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs) are available throughout the state. Mobile Crisis Response Teams provide mobile assessment and crisis stabilization services. Each regional CMHC has a team that responds to the counties they serve. DMH has expanded the number of CSUs and CSU beds in the past four years. Previously, there were eight 16-bed CSUs in the state, with a total of 128 beds. Currently, there are 180 CSU beds in 13 CSUs, with plans for more. CSUs provide short-term inpatient stabilization services and have a very high rate of diversion from state hospitals. There were more than 3,400 admissions to CSUs in FY23, and they had a 92% diversion rate from state hospitals.
Intensive community services like Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), Intensive Community Outreach and Recovery Teams (ICORT), and Intensive Community Support Specialists have been established and expanded. These services are designed to treat people with severe and persistent mental illness and prevent the need for admission to state hospitals. At least one of these services is available in each of Mississippi’s 82 counties.
Newer services like Court Liaisons, Peer Respite, and diversion centers are also under way or planned for expansion. These services are focused on preventing the need for longer term inpatient care. The State is continuing to invest in mental health services.
We will be sharing FY23 data in the coming weeks and will continue to share data related to these services, and other services, in the future. We have enhanced our data collection and fidelity reviews and will continue these efforts moving forward.
We remain strong in our mission and commitment to the people we serve. DMH is inspired by the future and encouraged by ways we can continue to partner with people, families, organizations, and communities for the benefit of the people we serve.
We are committed to maintaining that progress and supporting a better tomorrow for Mississippians with mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual or developmental disabilities.