Mental Health - Norfolk

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The interim head of Nebraska Health and Human Services was in Norfolk Tuesday to visit with community leaders about the proposed closing of the Norfolk Regional Center.

Dr. Richard Raymond says his visit was to continue discussions with local leaders over Governor Mike Johanns' proposed state mental health reforms. Those reforms would close the regional centers in Hastings and Norfolk.

Raymond tried to assure Norfolk officials that the plan would not result in a chaotic mess that some critics claim it will be.

Raymond says community-based services will have to be in place before the regional centers would be closed. He says no one will leave the Norfolk Regional Center until there is a place for them to be treated safely.

He says services must be in place that will not place an unfair burden on law enforcement in the community or place anyone with a mental illness in danger to themselves or anyone else.