Southeastern Center for Mental Health was forced to cut services across the tri-county area because of major budget cuts. A new director is in place, and is already trying to untangle the financial mess.
Foster Norman has only been the new director of Southeastern Center for Mental Health for about a month. In that short time, he started holding public meetings to help properly allocate the funds Southeastern already has.
Norman hopes to assess each patient and their needs, and provide them the most services they can within their budget. He said the problems started when Southeastern began providing services to their patients that they could not pay for.
By outlining stricter guidelines for who needs what services, he hopes to stay within budget this upcoming year. “I would love for everyone to get every service that they need, unfortunately we have a budget that we must stay within. My commitment is to have a system that provides quality services, to the extent that our funding allows,” he said.
Just last week, Southeastern asked New Hanover County commissioners for $2 million to help them get through the fiscal year. That money was part of $5 million put aside for the construction of a new facility, but with this financial crisis, building a new facility if out of the question for now.