The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has stopped a lot of things right in their tracks, but one thing it hasn’t stopped is the construction of the new Guilford County Behavioral Health Center that the county is building in partnership with Cone Health and Sandhills Center – a mental health management agency based out of West End, North Carolina, that oversees the administration of those services for Guilford and other counties.
At a recent meeting between county staff and two county commissioners, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips said that, despite the complications created by the virus, work on the Guilford County Adult Crisis Center and the Adolescent and Children’s Crisis Center on the same campus are going strong.
In 2018, Phillips was one of the main architects of the project that’s now creating something entirely new in the way Guilford County provides mental health services. At the heart of that effort is a new mental health campus at 931 Third St. just northeast of downtown Greensboro.
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved the project long before the pandemic hit, but Phillips has made it clear that the construction of the buildings is a top priority for the county.
“The Behavioral Health Center is coming along fabulously,” Phillips said. “In spite of what we’re living through, good things are happening.”
Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing spoke to one factor that’s allowing the progress on the new mental health facilities.
”All we needed was a little bit of dry weather,” Lawing said.
The progress may be moving along fine, however, Commissioner Skip Alston jumped in at the staff meeting to rain on Phillips’ parade. Alston pointed out that the county has been expecting millions from the State of North Carolina to help pay for the project – but the state still doesn’t have a 2019-2020 budget and therefore that funding is up in the air.
“We still don’t have our money from the state,” Alston said.
“Don’t be putting a damper on this,” Phillips told Alston.
Why is the Mental Health Center being built in the Northeast section of the city? Is that where most of the mental problems are located? And how is the “cure the violence’s program working? Are we going to get an update any time soon?