Woodland closure creates strain on other mental health facilities

Mental health facilities in Hannibal are taking in more clients then ever before. They credit the high numbers partially due to the closing of the Woodland Center for Mental Health out of Hannibal Regional Hospital.

We found there's a deep impact Woodland's closure has had on its surrounding mental health centers and their clients.

"It's something that we are concerned about and I'm hopeful that the things we are working on will be hopeful to the community," said Carrie Danner with White Oak Counseling .

Danner says her facility has seen close to a 20 percent increase in referrals just in the last year, no doubt an effect of Woodland's closure. Staff recently relocated to a bigger building off Market Street to accommodate the numbers.

"We do have more people coming in, in crisis. We also have to find placement for them, and Blessing has been very helpful and accommodated most of our needs," said Danner.

But there's only so much one hospital can provide.The closest help for the mentally ill aside from Quincy is St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri.

"Lord knows where they'll end up," said Bill Shinn, CEO of Shinn Residentials.

It's the same story, if not worse for Shinn Residentials off Paris Avenue. It's a facility that independently houses and coordinates care for the mentally ill. In certain circumstances, both facilities are mandated by law to admit their clients to a mental health hospital. That's become a real problem without one in town.

"Sometimes it takes us three to four days to figure out where they'll end up. Sometimes, they're just left out there in a hospital room for a couple days," said Shinn.

For now, both facilities are working to meet the needs of their clients as best they can.