During the second of three town hall meetings held by the Loudoun Community Services Board, the theme was clear: We need more funding.
One attendee at Monday’s night program at the Sterling Community Center identified herself as a client of the mental health system.
“I actually had to use the crisis care unit, and I had to go to the one in Falls Church, because Loudoun County doesn’t have one,” she said. “Is there something that’s being put in the works to get one? Because it’s desperately needed. I’ve heard that from many, many people.”
Another couple stood up to talk about their 36-year-old son suffering from schizoaffective disorder. They said their son cannot get services in the county, because his monthly social security disability payment, $771, is too high for him to qualify for Medicaid. They said he has been hospitalized six times in the past two years.
“We’re caught in a real bind here, and there are probably other people in that situation,” they said. “He is again in the hospital as we speak, and when he gets out, I’m quite sure once again the psychiatrist will recommend that he have outpatient treatment.”
Other attendees also said the Paxton Campus in Leesburg and other charitable services can’t keep up with the demand for services. One couple pointed out the desperate lack of funding and capacity at group homes.
“Our daughter went on the waitlist when she was 12,” they said. “She’s 27.”
“We’ve been screaming about that, and matter of fact, we’re going to scream louder,” Community Services Board Chairman Angelo Wider said. He promised not to get political, but encouraged everyone at the meeting to make their voices heard to county supervisors.
“Just imagine all of us together at a Board of Supervisors meeting and articulating the same things,” Wider said. “They’d have to listen to us.”
The CSB oversees the county Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services. The next CSB town hall meeting will be from 5-7 p.m. on May 10, at Franklin Park Arts Center, 36441 Blueridge View Lane near Purcellville.
“The county is continuing to grow, and we need to figure out a way to get out in front of it and stay in front of it,” Wider said.