Study Shows Nevada Ranks Worst for Access to Mental Health Care

Candies Charles and Caroline Bleakley

3 days ago

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The United States is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis affecting adults and children alike, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

A report by insurer QuoteWizard found that 21% of Nevadaans have a mental illness, and the state has the eighth worst access to mental health care in the nation. Only 4 in 10 Nevadans with mental illness receive care.

Dr. Sheldon Jacobs, a marriage and family therapist and vice president of the Southern Nevada Mental Health Alliance, says psychiatric facilities are overstretched and lack professionals to serve the region. .

“Our mental health system has many shortcomings,” says Dr. Jacobs. “Many of our certified therapists also have long waiting lists, so it’s not always the most accessible process for those struggling with mental health and trying to use their services.”

Young people are greatly affected by lack of access.

“Unfortunately, what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked. We know our children are really suffering,” added Dr. Jacobs.

Mental Health America reports that Silver State ranks last in terms of high prevalence of mental illness among children and low rates of access to care.

“The pandemic, the earthquake, and the tsunami is now starting to hit where we have seen a lot of violence in schools,” Dr. Jacobs said.

“Students are facing more and more, from cyberbullying to gun violence. It is very important to have the

Funding from the American Rescue Plan has helped increase school counselors and increase funding for programs like NAMI that provide support to the community.

“Schools are a good place to start when they are a great base of resources and support. So I think we need to seriously focus on how we deliver mental health with educators,” he said. Dr. Jacobs said.

“There are a few things they can do. They could hire more school counselors, they could hire more school psychologists. Those are all good things, but they’re really underwhelming. , we need more,” Forte said.

There are two bills that could help address mental health needs in Nevada.

  • SB313 requires enhanced learning and support for health education and resources in K-12.
  • SB242 decriminalizes small amounts of psilocybin, a psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms, which has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health needs, including PTSD, in veterans.

“We are confident that we will continue to solve this problem. There is a lot going on behind the scenes where people are doing everything in their power to really change this story of our state.” said Dr. Jacobs.

how can i help

Talk to your legislators about two of Cayson City’s bills now, and continue the conversation beyond May, Mental Health Awareness Month. Removing the stigma around mental health could help more people get the help they need.

Mental health resources

If you are in danger, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 988 now to talk to someone.

“It’s okay to not be okay, but not to seek support out there is a problem,” says Dr. Jacobs.

The community has many free resources, including the NAMI Southern Nevada free support group. Also, Nevada 211 has a complete list of free resources.

To find resources for teens and young adults in Nevada, text CARE to 839863 or call us Monday-Friday 8am-10pm and weekends 8am-9am, You can call a colleague at (775) 241-4212. You can also text her messages to peers daily from noon to 10pm.

Tips for Discussing Mental Health

NAMI encourages parents to discuss mental health with their children and offers suggestions on how best to do so. Children may be hesitant or embarrassed to talk to their parents about their emotional feelings. Keeping them comfortable, building trust, and keeping communication open is key.

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