Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Pinellas commissioners agree to extend mental health funding

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County commissioners have extended the funding for a St. Petersburg mental health clinic for 120 more days.

County officials had said earlier this year that they would withdraw about $1.6 million in funding from the nonprofit Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services because they were no longer legally required to provide matching funds to the group. But PEMHS officials warned that the loss of funds would force them to turn away some of the thousands of people who are deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Commissioners heeded PEMHS warnings and gave $500,000 to help the agency make it through the end of this year. Tuesday, they agreed to give PEMHS up to $846,534 for funding through March.

The bulk of the money is to be used for patients admitted under the Baker Act and the remainder for crisis support emergency services. It is unclear whether the county will continue to provide funding for PEMHS after that.

County officials are re-evaluating the mental health programs they fund.

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