Family Counseling Center accepts 300 Delta patients

Help is on the way for nearly 300 people who were left without mental health care when the Delta Center announced they were closing.

The Family Counseling Center has taken over the state permits for three of the eight Delta Center properties.

They hope to offer services to about 75 percent of Delta patients.

When the Delta Center was forced to close their doors due to the ongoing budget impasse in Illinois, Family Counseling Center Director Sherrie Crabb says it caused a dangerous void in mental health care for hundreds of families across southern Illinois.

"They’re very important services because these are the most vulnerable populations in our community,” said Crabb.  “Mental health and substance abuse has taken financial hits over the years since 2008-2009, and it continues to decline."

To try and hold local services together the Family Counseling Center leased three of the eight Delta Center facilities and retained 35 percent of their staff to ensure there are no gaps in service.

"We are here to help others help themselves,” said Crabb. “I think that legislators need to walk into some of these ERs, go to jails, and see what is going on in these places to really understand what the impact is."

Crabb says, despite all of their efforts, they weren’t able to take all of Delta’s 300 patients.

"There is a HUD continuing care project that houses individuals who are homeless, and they’re going to be back on the streets,” said Crabb. “Cairo has no way to keep that program going."

With the budget impasse dragging into its eighth week now, Crabb warns that any further delays in passing a state budget could extremely damage southern Illinois mental health care.

The Family Counseling Center is still weighing its options to try and keep the Stenger Apartments and Delta Terrace in Cairo open for business.