I-Team: More Money Wanted for Mental Health Care in Nevada | News
LAS VEGAS -- Recent mass shootings have highlighted the holes in mental health care nationwide. Nevada mental health professionals hope to open a 24-hour clinic in Las Vegas but they don't know if there's money to do it.
The vast majority of mentally unstable patients are not violent to others. However, enough mass shooters have been discovered with histories of mental illness that improving treatment is seen as a higher priority by some caregivers.
Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services is asking Governor Brian Sandoval for money to open a 24-hour urgent care facility. Mental health officials say too many patients end up at University Medical Center and Clark County Detention Center when they should be at mental health centers.
The proposed facility would be located next to Desert Regional Center, a mental health hospital, on Charleston Avenue and Jones Boulevard. That center also has a request to increase its budget by $18 million to hire an additional 53 workers. Desert Regional Center expects its patient load to increase around 25 percent within two years.
Hospital deputy administrator Michele Ferrall says even though only they only have beds for 48 severely affected patients, they treat many more than that.
"We do serve a very complex clientele on this campus. People are here because they have been less successful on a less restrictive environment. We do support people who do engage in self-injurious behaviors, people who are aggressive to themselves, to others, or engage in property destruction," Ferrall said.
8 News NOW reached out to both the state senate and assembly health committee chairs to find out their take on the mental health budget requests. Our calls were not returned.