As Nevada and the Tahoe Basin greet 2013 with a mix of optimism and concern we have great issues facing our nation, including looming debates on the state of mental health services, gun control, and protecting Second Amendment rights. The following article is the first of a 2 part series that looks at the availability and impact of mental health services both here in Northern Nevada and across the Nation.
“We continue to collectively mourn the devastating loss of life last December in Connecticut, as 27 people were killed (mostly first graders). As unbelievable as this tragedy was (and many recently like it), we still face multiple questions: What are we as a nation prepared to change? How can we prevent this from happening again? And what exactly are the possible causes of these horrific acts? Many commentators and politicians, say it is our “broken Mental Health System” that needs to be fixed. I am certain that something needs to be fixed, particularly our access to mental health services, but to declare there is a system, broken or otherwise, is naïve. In our own state of Nevada, the legislative body has cut 38.1% from the total general fund mental health budget over the past three years, making it the state with the 5th highest cut to mental health funding in the US.
(Statistic from the National Alliance on Mental Health)