Thursday, we told you that nearly 100 local mental health agencies are suffering from the trickle-down affect from the Southeastern Center for Mental Health financial crisis. For developmentally disabled clients, like Lynetta Richardson, the service cutbacks Southeastern Mental Health has had to make are effecting her in ways she never imagined. "The cut back, they stopped coming," said Richardson. Lynetta is referring to the caregivers at ACI Support that used to check in on her 4 times a week. They made sure she was taking her medication, paying her bills, and keeping up with her house. They do not come as often anymore, and she is left to fend for herself. Kim Malli, a support coordinator said, "If they don't have instructors, staff, people to remind them, and reinforce, and generalize the things that they learned, they lose them. They are going to lose all their skills if they end up sitting home all day." ACI Support specialist, Randall Evans said, "They deserve to live life just as full as we do." Other clients are feeling the repercussions as well, because for them, their caregiver was more like a friend. "I was called by LPI, and told that one-on-one worker would not be there, that she could not come out anymore. Of course that really floored me because the support I was getting was very beneficial to me,” said William J. Davis, a mental health client. About two years ago, the New Hanover County Commissioners and Southeastern Mental Health pooled $5,000,000 to put toward a new building to house mental health services. But once Southeastern's financial problems came to light, that money went back to the county. Now agencies like ACI want to see that money come back to Southeastern, to help ease some of the financial burden. County Commissioner, Nancy Pritchett said the reason she is reluctant, is because she has not seen in writing where Southeastern would use that $5 million. "I understand, I understand totally what's going on, but I will not see this as a temporary band-aid, then we haven't done anything to fix the wound," said Pritchett. New Hanover County Commissioners have asked Southeastern to make a financial plan quite some time ago. They have not received a response, which is why they are holding on to the $5 million.
Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.