KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett released the budget proposal for the 2016-2017 fiscal year on Monday. One of the major efforts in the plan is to build a mental health facility.
One million dollars of the $771 million budget will be to build a new mental health facility while $200,000 per year is allotted to run the facility.
Mayor Burchett says this effort is something the City of Knoxville has also committed to do, but at this point, the state has not.
In June 2012, Lakeshore Mental Health Institute closed after 126 years of providing mental health services for middle and upper Tennessee. As a result, many patients have looked to Knox Area Relief Ministries (KARM) for help.
"Conservatively, we would say 30% of our KARM community has diagnosed mental health issues but frankly we would say it's higher than that," Sue Renfro, Director of Marketing and Communications at KARM says, "but I think so many people will find much needed help and assistance. It will make our community a healthier place to live."
KARM offers a new counseling center on site and they are pleased to be able to serve the community with those services; however, they say a mental health institute in the area is strongly needed.