A mental-health service that has provided clinical services to area residents for decades is closing its doors.
Southeastern Illinois Counseling Centers Inc. is filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, according to Executive Director Glenn Jackson. The last day for client services was Wednesday and employees have started receiving termination notices.
"We're closing all centers," Jackson told the Daily News. "The agency as a whole is going to dissolve."
Jackson said "a series of unfortunate events" led to the bankruptcy, starting with the loss of a primary program that helped keep the centers "ahead of the game, expensewise."
The two-year state budget standoff contributed, too. No state funding hurt the centers' ability to pay its staff members.
"We fell way behind on payroll," Jackson explained. "Payroll was very late. We had to stop the bleeding somehow."
Finally, the main center in Olney was badly damaged by fire in May 2017. "That pretty well ripped us apart," he said.
Besides Olney and the Robinson center on West Highland next to Robinson High School, Southeastern had facilities in Lawrenceville, Fairfield and Flora. Signs on the doors of the centers provide clients with a phone number to call for assistance. That number is 618-392-3090.
Also, a list of current clients is being compiled and each will be contacted by letter with options for services.
According to Southeastern's mission statement, the agency existed "to provide an array of professional and quality behavioral health care, prevention and community services appropriate to all ages and to all socio-economic groups."
The Robinson center provided only outpatient services. Jackson said Crawford County was an excellent location for the agency and that Southeastern appreciated the support it received from the local 708 Mental Health Board.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is liquidation. The property of an individual or organization that files under Chapter 7 can be sold by a court-appointed trustee to pay creditors. It is most common form of bankruptcy.
Wrapping up the corporation will take time, Jackson said. Those faced with the task are learning how to do it as they go along.
"None of us went to school to learn how to shut down an agency," he added.