Sitting in front of Knox County’s Park and Recreation building in Lakeshore Park, birds are chirping, people are walking and kids are playing soccer. What is now a bustling park was once home to the state-run Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, shut down in 2012 in an attempt to decentralize care into the community.
Nearly a decade later, some advocates say there are still major gaps in care. There were almost 200 inpatient, psychiatric beds in Knox County in 2010. Now, there are less than 40.