Today’s meetings allow public input

Published 11:59 pm Monday, September 28, 2009

Today in Opp, citizens will have the opportunity to shape the future of services for children and other individuals with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse disorders.

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College’s MacArthur campus in Opp will be the site of “local planning meetings,” which are held every year to give the public a chance to make their ideas known about important medical issues.

“Every year, we have some people from the state come down and meet with employees from our area, and agencies in the community, and get their feedback as to what needs are being met and what is still needed,” said Sharon Cornelius, executive assistant with South Central Alabama Mental Health, which is sponsoring the local planning meetings.

The meetings are open to the public and will be held at the conference room at LBWCC-MacArthur. The adult services meeting is from 9 a.m. until noon, and the adolescent/children’s services meeting is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“The ultimate goal of the planning process is to develop a long-term plan for systems of care that is responsive and accountable to those we serve, as well as to the general public,” said Alabama Department of Mental Health Commission John Houston in a press release. “We want all stake holders and the general public at the table, beginning with these planning meetings.”

The South Central Alabama Mental Health Board is a public, non-profit corporation, created by the governments of Covington, Butler, Crenshaw and Coffee counties, as well as the nine city governments that are located in the board’s four-county service area.

The Mental Health Center in Andalusia provides an array of services for people who have mental illness and for those persons who experience difficulty in coping with life-events. Some of those services include: adult in-home intervention, crisis intervention, individual therapy and therapeutic residential services.

For more information about any of the Board’s services, call the access to care number at 1-877-530-0002, or the after-hours number at 334-222-7794.