Will Las Vegas support a 24-hour mental health clinic?
Wed, Jan 9, 2013 (3:48 p.m.)
Here in the every-man-for-himself Wild West known as the Silver State, the idea of helping others with public money is the worst kind of poison to the libertarian mind-set and directly attacks our horrid ratings on nearly every list regarding education, health and quality of life. So when news broke that Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services is proposing a 24-hour urgent care facility in Las Vegas to relieve jails and emergency rooms of people with mental illness, we wondered how Clark County denizens would keep it together, particularly at the cost of $7.5 million.
So far, there’s been no mass outcry. But we still have the Governor’s State of the State on January 16 and Nevada’s Legislative Session beginning in February.
Traditionally, Nevada’s relationship with mental illness has been a sketchy one. The National Alliance on Mental Illness ranked us fifth in the country for the highest mental health cuts from 2009-2012. That same group graded Nevada’s mental health care system with an overall D in 2009 (with an F in Health Promotion and Measurement and an F in Community Integration and Social Inclusion, which includes jail diversion programs). Additionally, the state ranks high in depression and suicide rates, according to other agencies and organizations, sitting in the top 10 for multiple years. Mental health budget cuts have been referred to as “crisis” level across the country, and mass shootings have brought the discussion to the forefront. Here in Nevada, we have a long way to go.