Communicare: Local mental health facility continues to excel

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

By Ian Sparks

Eagle Intern

Lafayette County’s main mental healthcare provider Communicare served 2,673 people in-county over the last year, according to Executive Director Melody Madaris who spoke to the Board of Supervisors Monday morning.

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Madaris and Communicare also reported that the 2,673 individuals they served made up 44% of their total client base that reaches a total of six counties in northern central Mississippi.

Communicare completed 654 crisis services, which does not include the mobile crisis services they provide. In addition, they have trained 12 Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies as a Crisis Intervention Team.

Haven House, Communicare’s residential facility located in Oxford, houses 48 beds and served 435 people last year. Additionally, there are 16 beds in their Crisis Stabilization Unit located in Batesville, not enough according to Madaris.

“We have 16 CSU beds which is completely not enough as we’re always out of CSU beds,” Madaris said.

However, Communicare was given $500,000 by the State legislature that will go toward 16 more CSU beds, bringing their total to 32.

Communicare opened an adolescent treatment facility, Sunflower Landing, that focuses on substance abuse treatment. They are currently working on opening an adolescent CSU that would offer an additional eight beds.

A Crisis Intervention Center is also in the works of opening, according to Madaris.

“Technically it’s been open, but we haven’t really staffed it. We just received a grant that will allow us to staff it almost 24/7,” Madaris said.

“It will serve as a sort of 23-hour intervention center. If someone doesn’t need a full-on crisis stabilization and just needs to be away for just a little while, we’ll have staff there all day every day, all night every night to basically just monitor them.”

Communicare wrote off $2,669,347 in total uncompensated care, meaning individuals who did not have insurance or any way to pay for their services still were attended to. Additionally, they adjusted $6,038,774.00 for insurance denials or reductions in payments.

“We appreciate everything you guys do, serving the six counties like you do. You provide a much-needed service locally and statewide,” Supervisor and Board President Brent Larson said.