Thu., January 21, 2010 1:44pm (EST)

Hospital Closure Causes Grave Concerns
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.  —  
Central State Hospital main building (photo courtesy Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
Central State Hospital main building (photo courtesy Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
The shut down of adult mental health services at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville might have come too soon. The hospital quit taking new patients in November. Once the state's largest mental hospital, Central State is down to around 30 mental health patients. Many of them will be discharged into the community.

Joshua Norris is with the Georgia Advocacy Office. He says he has grave concerns about that plan because community-based services are not in place.

"There have been documented instances of discharging to homeless shelters, and buying tickets to, on the bus, things of that nature."

State officials deny those claims. Norris says patients being transferred to other state hospitals are also faced with moving hundreds of miles away from family and their communities.