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Mississippi City Rejects Mental Health Facility Despite Need

The aldermen's rejection comes even though Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten has repeatedly said his county has few resources to help mentally ill people. Photo courtesy Travis Patten

The aldermen's rejection comes even though Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten has repeatedly said his county has few resources to help mentally ill people. Photo courtesy Travis Patten

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — Officials in southwest Mississippi are denying a rezoning request for a mental health facility, despite complaints that the area is underserved.

Natchez aldermen unanimously rejected rezoning property to allow a crisis stabilization unit, a small mental hospital meant to keep people from being sent to faraway state hospitals or jail.

Opponents say the facility is inappropriate for a mostly residential neighborhood.

Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Executive Director Sherlene Vince tells The Natchez Democrat that city documents improperly labeled the unit as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Alderwoman Sarah Carter Smith says Natchez needs the unit, but says "there has to be a better place for it."

The rejection comes even though Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten has repeatedly said his county has few resources to help mentally ill people.


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