No Stigma Nevada: Its the worst time to skimp on mental-health resources – Elko Daily Free Press

Posted: May 12, 2020 at 9:45 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

In Nevada, our residents collective mental health is going to get grim. To start, Nevada ranks 51st in 15 categories, according to the national policy organization Mental Health America. The Centers for Disease Control reports point out that suicide is the leading cause of death for Nevadans aged 12-19. More senior citizens die by suicide in the Silver State than any other state in the nation.

And those numbers are going to get worse as time goes on. Ive spent a lifetime battling my own bipolar disorder. I know what its like to live with long term mental health issues; it can destroy a persons life.

Gov. Sisolak has listened closely to his medical advisers on issues from whether to extend the stay-at-home mandate to when to open businesses or how many tests are needed. Now he needs a mental-health advisory committee made up of our states behavioral specialists to come up with a plan for how this state is going to cope emotionally with the coronavirus, now and in the future.

First on the agenda: Figure out a way to address Nevadas mental health without drastic cuts to the Health and Human Services budget which overseas the states mental health and Medicaid services.

Making dramatic cuts will be like sending someone to work in a meatpacking plant thats infested with COVID-19. Thats not a plan at all. That is a recipe for human disaster and a perfect plan for increasing the states dire suicide rate. To prepare, Nevada should increase exponentially its funding for the Office of Suicide Prevention. That highly important office gets barely more than $500,00 a year in state funding. Thats not enough.

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No Stigma Nevada: Its the worst time to skimp on mental-health resources - Elko Daily Free Press

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