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: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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