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State Cuts Funding to Mental Health Services including CCH, CCS Project

State Cuts Funding to Mental Health Services including CCH, CCS Project

Gillette, WY – April 23, 2021 – The State of Wyoming Department of Health Behavioral Health Division recently received budget cuts of $15,193,471 to programs throughout Wyoming. Campbell County Health’s (CCH) Behavioral Health Services Community Mental Health Center Grant was cut by more than $800,674.67 for fiscal year 2022; this includes cuts to Campbell County’s residential mental health facility, the Greenhouse Group Home. Due to budget cuts from the State, this service will lose more than 50% of its funding.

For 15 years, Campbell County Health (CCH) has subcontracted with the Council of Community Services (CCS) to operate the Greenhouse, a supervised group home living facility for adults with severe mental illness and homelessness. The goal of the program is to provide a stable and supportive environment to improve the quality of life for individuals with severe mental illness and help integrate them into the community.

After discussions and meetings to review budgets, the CCS and CCH have determined that the funding proposed by the State to the Greenhouse is not enough to cover the costs of staffing and running the group home—even with drastic cuts to operations and services.

By July 1, 2021, the current services offered at the Greenhouse will not be able to be provided. CCH and the CCS is evaluating other ways that the Greenhouse can be used, as well as other partnership opportunities.

“CCH is invested in providing behavioral health services to those who need them in our community; especially due to the lasting effects that COVID-19 has had on mental health,” says Colleen Heeter, CCH Chief Executive Officer. “CCH is committed to partnering with the CCS to find a solution and identify a program that could help serve those with severe mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness in our community. CCS Board Members and staff, along with members of CCH’s Board of Trustees, administrators and staff, are working together to help identify grants and fundraising opportunities to reassess what services could be offered.”

The Greenhouse employs seven full-time employees to supervise up to six residents who live in the Greenhouse. CCH will work with the CCS to identify areas where some of these employees could apply and find work within the health care system.

“The Greenhouse was a joy to operate and had such positive outcomes for those suffering with severe mental illnesses. Our employees put their hearts into their jobs. They truly care about people and have dedicated their time—nights, holidays, weekends—to serving others even when it is hard, while doing it without a lot of recognition and thanks,” says Mikel Scott, CCS Executive Director. “I’m hopeful that with CCH's continued partnership we can find a way to serve the people in our community who need it most, even if that is in some other capacity.”

The Greenhouse provides temporary shelter (a maximum of six months) for up to six residents with their own bedroom, and access to a group kitchen, living room and exercise facilities. The program includes helping the residents find employment as well as receive practical guidance for day-to-day activities such as cooking, housework, washing clothes, paying bills and bathing. CCH employs a case manager to help residents access healthcare by scheduling checkups, counseling, dental and vision appointments. Residents also volunteer at the Soup Kitchen.

The Council of Community Services offers meals every day through its soup kitchen, provides nutrition to families in need in Campbell County, Wyoming through the food pantry, puts a roof over people’s head in times of crisis, provides case managers to help people deal with health emergencies, and works to move families into permanent housing. To learn how you can support and donate to mental health programs in the community, contact the Council of Community Services at 307-686-2730 or visit www.ccsgillette.org.

CONTACT:
Karen Clarke
Director, Community Relations
(307) 688-1581
Karen.clarke@cchwyo.org

Mikel Scott
Council of Community Services
Executive Director
(307) 686-2730
mikel@ccswy.org