In a move that officials say will be seamless for clients, the Greenville Mental Health Center and the Piedmont Center for Mental Health Services will become the Greater Greenville Mental Health Center as of July 1.
The merger is being undertaken to streamline administrative functions, said Dr. Peter Camelo, executive director of the new entity.
Up to now, Greenville Mental Health Center in downtown Greenville had its own executive director as did the Piedmont Center, with facilities in Simpsonville and Greer, Camelo said.
Each also had its own board and human resources director, he said. Now there will be one administration.
Programs also differed at the facilities, Camelo said, making it hard for some clients to get those they needed.
“The main thrust of the merger is to eliminate the geographic boundaries that cause confusion for all the customers,” he told The Greenville News. “So all services will be provided to all clients at one location or another.”
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The state Department of Mental Health has been toying with the idea of a merger for years because Greenville is the only county served by two centers, said Mark Binkley, interim director of the DMH.
“The transition of each center’s executive directors to new roles, and the ability to combine the governing boards without losing any members made now an ideal time to make the change,” he said.
Current offices and clinics will remain open and contact information will remain the same as well, with administration headquartered at the 124 Mallard Street site in Greenville.
More than 250 people staff three clinics. No one will lose their jobs in the move, Camelo said.
The change will not only increase access and expand services but facilitate collection of data and improve operations, Camelo said.
In fiscal 2018, the two centers had 10,388 clients — 4,440 children and adolescents and 527 who were age 65 and older.
DMH provides services to about 100,000 people with mental illnesses, prioritizing those with serious and persistent mental illness and emotional disturbances through a network of outpatient centers, inpatient hospitals, a community nursing care center and three veterans nursing homes.
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