Mental health crisis centers, 988 hotline get attention at governor's summit

Mental health crisis centers, 988 hotline get attention at governor’s summit

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada is stepping up to provide more resources for residents who are facing mental health issues.

Millions of dollars are now being invested thanks to the American Rescue Plan.

“Since the pandemic, more and more people have been struggling,” said Dr. Stephanie Woodard, senior advisor for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

Over 42,000 calls were reported last year in Nevada, and Dr. Woodard tells us that is only going to grow.

A big concern she says as mental health continues impacting Nevadans and Americans across the country.

“The number one indication it is having an impact on your ability to live day-to-day: Does it impact your relationships, your ability to go to work, school and function in your social circle,” Dr. Woodard said.

Tuesday, Gov. Steve Sisolak brought together medical leaders at the Nevada Healthcare Provider Summit. The event was meant to strengthen the state’s health care while announcing a $20 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act to improve crisis centers.

“The health care system in Nevada needs work. We don’t rank where we want to be and COVID has shown us some of our weaknesses. We are desperately short on health care providers, especially in the nursing category,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak said the state will work with the schools to attract more people into the medical field.

The governor also got a boost from the Biden Administration to combat mental health with the launch of a new 988 hotline.

“We want 988 to be as good as 911 when it’s time for an emergency,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and  Human Services Xavier Becerra. “If you have a mental health challenge or suffering from distress … 988.”

“In addition to this, in Nevada we are looking to fund the crisis care hub so that if you need additional support and resources beyond the call, we will have the ability to see what’s in your area,” Dr. Woodard said.

The 988 hotline will be active on July 16.

And according to Becerra, it will consolidate the suicide prevention hotline and other resources into one.

A crucial number he says that will be available here in Nevada and all across the country.

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