Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Governor aims to funnel $3.5 million to mental health services

Gov. Brian Sandoval says he is supporting a request for an additional $3.5 million to be spent mostly in Southern Nevada to increase services to the mentally ill.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is to appear before the Interim Finance Committee Thursday to draw this money, which was set aside by the 2013 Legislature and originated from a tobacco settlement.

The funds will be used for such things as additional beds for the mentally ill in the Las Vegas area; to create mobile teams to work with law enforcement who find people on the street with mental problems, and create more housing for those who have been released from the Rawson Neal mental hospital but continue to need outpatient services.

There is also a recommendation to hire 19 more staffers in Las Vegas and eight in Northern Nevada for the mobile crisis teams for kids. These teams would work to provide psychiatric evaluation, medications and respite care for children in crisis situations.

Sandoval said these recommendations came from his Governor’s Behavioral Health and Wellness Council.

There has been continued criticism about the number of those with mental health problems who crowd hospital emergency rooms or jails in Clark County waiting for services.

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