Mississippi mental health agency getting new leader in 2021

MGN Online

The executive director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health will retire Jan. 31 as the state continues to face a federal court order to improve community-based services.

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 7:07 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The executive director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health will retire Jan. 31 as the state continues to face a federal court order to improve community-based services.

Diana Mikula announced her retirement plans to the state Board of Mental Health on Thursday. The agency said in a news release that the board chose a longtime employee as her successor.

Mikula became executive director in 2014 after already working 21 years for the agency.

The new executive director will be Wendy Bailey, who is now the deputy director for administrative services. During her 15 years at the Department of Mental Health, Bailey has also been chief of staff and director of outreach and planning.

“My primary vision for the agency is to improve access to an evidence-based continuum of care for people with mental illness, substance use addiction, and intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Bailey said in the release. "Every person has a voice and a story, and every person should be able to access and participate in the care that will improve their lives.”

In September 2019, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled that Mississippi’s mental health system was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because of inadequate resources to treat people with mental illnesses.

During a trial before Reeves, Mikula testified in June 2019 that she supported the state spending more money to provide services to people outside state hospitals

“We want people to receive services in the least restrictive environment,” Mikula testified, citing the standard set by federal law.

Mikula testified, though, that funding was an obstacle to improving mental health services. The Legislature budgeted $16.1 million over two years to expand community-based services. Mikula said the Department of Mental Health's overall budget was cut by $8.3 million in 2017 and $19.7 million in 2018.

As part of the state's effort to comply with the federal judge's order to improve mental health services, the Department of Finance and Administration director, Liz Welch, recently appointed a special assistant attorney general, William Rosamond, as coordinator of mental health accessibility.

Rosamond has worked as an attorney for the Department of Mental Health. He will evaluate the quality of mental health care to possibly change services offered in some counties.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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