On the heels of a community survey placing access to medical care and substance abuse treatment near the top of the list of community problems, the Gibson Recovery Center in Cape Girardeau has received a $453,809 grant to improve treatment for mental illness and substance abuse.
The two-year grant comes from the Missouri Foundation for Health, the state's largest health-financing organization. The foundation distributes funding to community organizations that serve the uninsured and underinsured in 84 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis.
Heather McClurg, the organization's director of communications, said the grant was awarded on the basis of the Gibson Center's plan to use an integrated model to treat individuals suffering both mental illness and addiction. "Their proposal was seen as having potential for strengthening the health safety net in the Bootheel region," McClurg said.
A survey conducted in part by the United Way of Southeast Missouri showed one of area residents' primary concerns is access to health care.
The Gibson Recovery Center at 1112 Linden St. in Cape Girardeau has both a residential program and an outpatient program for treatment of mental illness and substance abuse. The center serves an average of 473 residential clients annually and an average of 471 outpatient clients monthly.
Over the course of two years, the grant will allow for the addition of 200 clients, both residents and outpatients. It also provides additional staffing: two case managers, a network administrator, project director and project secretary. The grant may allow the center to hire an on-site psychiatrist, said John Gary, the Gibson Recovery Center executive director.
The current wait for a client to see a psychiatrist is eight to 10 weeks. "With the grant, we'll be able to increase services to treat mental health and substance abuse aggressively," Gary said.
Staff training, one-on-one treatment and help in finding appropriate housing and jobs for clients are some of the uses planned for the grant. The center also wants to introduce a "crisis bed" for people who aren't accepted into a state hospital because of current drug or alcohol use.
The center's current annual operating budget of $1.3 million is funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, Cape Girardeau and Perry Counties Mill Tax Board, United Way of Southeast Missouri, private donations, the Missouri Department of Corrections and the Office of State Courts and Administration.
The center serves Cape Girardeau, Perry, Bollinger, Scott and Stoddard counties with a full-time staff of 32.
335-6611, extension 133