Nevada lawmakers approve $2.1M for mental health

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada lawmakers have unanimously approved a plan to fast-track $2.1 million to improve southern Nevada mental health programs.

The Interim Finance Committee’s decision came Tuesday after a discussion of problems plaguing the programs in the Las Vegas area.

State officials cited ballooning numbers of mentally ill patients lingering in emergency rooms instead of psychiatric facilities, long wait times for patients headed for a Sparks center for mentally ill inmates, and difficulties hiring staff on low pay.

Gov. Brian Sandoval had called for the committee to speed up the funds after an independent agency announced Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital would lose its accreditation.

State officials said they wouldn’t appeal that decision, which was based on an inspection in May, but want to seek the voluntary accreditation from the Joint Commission again soon.

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