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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: 517138

Reported Deaths: 10306
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35086559
DeSoto33512432
Hinds32826644
Jackson24938392
Rankin22621405
Lee16564245
Madison14986283
Jones14195248
Forrest13865260
Lauderdale12343323
Lowndes11401193
Lamar10715140
Pearl River9762244
Lafayette8898143
Hancock7854132
Washington7562169
Oktibbeha7246138
Monroe7106179
Pontotoc7071110
Warren6915179
Panola6815136
Neshoba6762210
Marshall6751142
Bolivar6484151
Union647099
Alcorn5969108
Pike5953157
Lincoln5550136
George511380
Prentiss511086
Tippah498483
Itawamba4916107
Scott479599
Tate4790118
Adams4789125
Leflore4765144
Copiah458995
Simpson4587117
Yazoo458692
Wayne444372
Covington435895
Sunflower4338106
Marion4313112
Coahoma4263111
Leake414491
Newton396482
Tishomingo390294
Grenada3799109
Stone366466
Attala342290
Jasper341667
Chickasaw320867
Winston319092
Clay314378
Clarke302095
Calhoun289550
Holmes273789
Smith271452
Yalobusha246547
Tallahatchie233153
Greene225549
Walthall222266
Lawrence221142
Perry214656
Amite210657
Webster207248
Noxubee188943
Montgomery182857
Carroll176341
Jefferson Davis175043
Tunica164139
Benton153539
Kemper145641
Choctaw138027
Claiborne134939
Humphreys132639
Franklin127130
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106539
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849409

Reported Deaths: 16199
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1165042004
Mobile744951384
Madison53605739
Shelby38474373
Baldwin38236590
Tuscaloosa36225644
Montgomery34599784
Lee25712264
Calhoun22652520
Morgan22569411
Etowah20084521
Marshall18878318
Houston17806426
St. Clair16987359
Limestone16220222
Cullman16183306
Elmore15967295
Lauderdale15126308
Talladega14275302
DeKalb13099271
Walker12202380
Blount10803193
Autauga10566157
Jackson10237196
Coffee9447192
Colbert9396210
Dale9052192
Tallapoosa7291202
Russell711965
Chilton7101171
Covington6985197
Escambia6972146
Franklin6379108
Chambers5815142
Marion5451132
Dallas5307210
Pike5135109
Clarke485986
Lawrence4857130
Winston4804111
Geneva4658137
Bibb436795
Barbour370880
Butler3446101
Marengo342593
Monroe338666
Randolph338567
Pickens335590
Fayette332785
Henry321566
Cherokee321264
Hale320289
Crenshaw262278
Washington256952
Cleburne255460
Lamar253755
Clay253169
Macon246667
Conecuh193962
Coosa186248
Lowndes178468
Wilcox178338
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130845
Choctaw94928
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