Mental health center in Harlingen in Jeopardy

A sign outside the Rio Grande State Center off Rangerville Road states now hiring but Harlingen City Commissioner Joey Trevio said he TMs concerned the facility is actually in jeopardy of closing.

He said that would mean over 60 jobs would be cut and the more than 5,000 patients that depend on services at the clinic, would have to go elsewhere for treatment.

Cruz Ramones is one of those patients.

She said she was involved in a car crash about nine months ago and is getting treatment at the clinic for a herniated disk.

However, with the state looking to trim its budgets, the $12 million state-of-the art facility built in 2009, might be one of the facilities forced to shut down.

"It makes no sense to me, Ramones said. I mean what are all these people going to do? How are (we) going to drive to San Antonio if you don TMt have the income to put gas in your car? This is all we have - are they really going to take it away from us?"

Ramones said she depends on this clinic and state insurance for her recovery.

She adds it's the first time in her life she's been unemployed and if the clinic goes, she's facing tough times ahead.

"This is my step to getting back on my feet, Ramones said. If they take this away from us what TMs going to happen? I TMm just going to be another person unemployed with no income. Can they really do that to us?

Trevio said the center is the tenth largest employer in Harlingen, and if it closes it would be devastating.

Our success is the medical community, Trevio said.

Trevino adds he TMs already in communication with Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. and Rep. Eddie Lucio, III regarding the issue.