Members of the Nevada County Mental Health Advisory Board presented their annual report on the state of mental health services to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors this week.
Scottie Hart, who sits on the Nevada County mental Health Board says one of largest mental health issues they took up this year was a thorough review of the mental health crisis services system in Nevada County. She says people with a mental illness who are a danger to themselves or others or are gravely disabled can be held for 72 hours under a law commonly referred to as Fifty-One-Fifty.
click here to listen to Scottie Hart
Executive Director of the Spirit Peer Empowerment Center, Barbara Lindsey Burns says One of their new programs that is helping patients is the Emergency Room Fifty One Fifty Program, where one of their counselors sits with people in the ER awaiting 5150 evaluation .
There are not enough psychiatric hospitals in California to meet the growing demand. Nevada County Behavioral Health Director Michael Heggarty says there is no clear answer as to why the number of people with mental illness is increasing.
The Mental Health Services Act is launching a pilot program to help people with mental illness who are homeless to get into housing. In the future Scottie Hart says they’re talking about making respite care available, by creating a short term residential facility in the county, for people who feel their mental illness increasing, to go to before they consider going 5150. She says the possibility of some state funding also exists which is very encouraging.