Local center gives relief to mentally ill and the Lufkin Police Department

by Kirby Gibbs

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - From suicide attempts to being a harm to others, the Lufkin Police Department and local hospitals have had their hands full.

Lt. David Young of the Lufkin Police Department told KTRE, "We frequently come across these people suffering with mental illnesses at the time of crisis. That is the call, that they're having a crisis at that moment, that they're becoming belligerent or violent, and that's where we usually intervene".

But now they have more help. The Burke Center has opened the new Psychiatric Emergency Service Center in Nacogdoches that is providing patients with care that'll put them on a new path.

George Burton, a former patient of the center said, "They taught me how to get back on my medicine and how to start respecting people. You know. I just don't say anything that comes to my mind. I step back take a deep breath and think about it and do it right".

And that's the goal the Burke Center hopes to achieve with all its patients.

"We'll go a long ways to help people stabilize, alleviate their symptoms, then we go on to provided counseling, rehabilitative services and case management services that can further help them to function well and reach a point to where they don't need us" says David Cozadd, the Director of Operations of the Burke Center.

"That's a hand up, not a hand out" proclaimed Burton. "And I recommend it to anybody that's going through some crisis. It's a lot of people stressed out these days and don't know what to do, but if you listen and go to the Burke Center I guarantee they'll get you some help".

Angelina County has received 1.6 million dollars in grants for operating costs, and The Temple Foundation has pledged to build the permanent facility in Lufkin.