Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A to Z Blogging Challenge: M is For Mental Health in Las Vegas

The whole Mental Health agenda seems to have been dumped and not given any real thought here in Las Vegas. The amount of people who need help because of mental illness here in Las Vegas is staggering and the facilities just aren't here, the doctors are not here and it seems the help is not here. 

We have 1 state hospital for the mentally ill and then a smaller psychiatric hospital that only has a small number of beds, not nearly enough to house all the people who need help. When someone here in Vegas gets arrested for trying to kill themselves or is acting strange and says they are suicidal they are first taken to the ER because in most cases you need a doctors note in order to get a bed at the psychiatric hospital. After going to the ER and being evaluated you are usually admitted into a room in the ER while the staff waits for a bed to open up in one of the psychiatric hospitals. Now if you have insurance you might be able to go to a facility other than the state run hospital if they have a bed open which most times they do not, so mentally ill patients wait in rooms in the medical hospitals for days, sometimes a week or more and if they are on suicide watch they could be drugged and strapped to the bed so they cannot leave. 

Now if that isn't bad enough, the state psychiatric hospital is being accused of 'patient dumping'. What they say happened is the facility bought greyhound bus tickets and bussed patients out of state with no medication and no family to meet them when they got to their destination and were told to call 911 once they arrived. 

If you'd like to read my article about this just click here


  1. Do you have any theories on why mental illness is such a big problem in Las Vegas? My first reaction was to think the casinos had something to do with it, by maybe that's too simplistic.

  2. Gorilla- I think a lot of people come here thinking they can make a quick buck in the casinos and end up losing their money. We have a huge homeless population here and so many of them are mentally ill. People come here thinking that they can make money because we have so many casinos and hotels but there are no jobs and when bad things happen and you lose all you have, it can make you break.

  3. Wow, that is crazy indeed. Maybe some of the so called doctors should be locked in a rubber room

  4. My cousin went to one around here for awhile. He doesn't have great memories of it.

  5. The patient dumping is a terrible reality. I don't view it as any more humane than the horrible asylums of years past.

  6. Crazy and sad. I would imagine depression, for one, is a big deal in Las Vegas, but then again, it's pretty big all over the country.
    Great post, albeit sad, but all the more informative.
    Silvia @

  7. Pat- I wish we could.

    Adam- Sorry to hear that.

    Amy- Yeah it really is. I still can't believe they did this to those poor people.

    Silvia- It is big all over. Thank you.

  8. A lot of our facilities were closed too, and that brings another set of problems. We have a campaign on our TV, which is very positive.

  9. Sad. Patient dumping was a problem when I was in law enforcement way back when. Agencies knew which individuals would be excepted where--for those that were not going to be taken anywhere, it was not uncommon for them to be discarded at some location.


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