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Treating the Mentally Ill in Nevada County

With the opening of a new Crisis Stabilization Unit outside the Emergency Room of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, medical practitioners now have more choices for treating patients with mental health issues. But according to Nevada County Behavioral Health Director Rebecca Slade , it doesn’t fix the problem entirely. She says there is still a great need for Mental Health care in Nevada County.

click to listen to Rebecca Slade

She says at least 70 percent of the people that walk through their door have a mental health and a substance abuse issue. She also says there are new drugs on the streets that are making people very ill. Sacramento County has recently seen half a dozen deaths attributed to the street drug Fentanyl.

People presenting themselves to the hospital with mental health issues typically enter through the Emergency Room, but the new Crisis Stabilization Unit gives them a place to go in a comfortable setting. The Unit has four beds and is staffed with Nurses, Psychiatrists, and Therapists. But Nevada County does not have a locked psychiatric hospital. which is typical in most rural counties.

click to listen to Rebecca Slade


She says Nevada County has sent patients as far away as Riverside County to place them in a Psychiatric Hospital.

Slade says the Mission of Nevada County Behavioral Health is to treat the population in the community that have MediCal or no insurance. About 25 percent of people in Nevada county have MediCal, she says some of those with mental health issues are children.

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