AN IMPORTANT MEETING IN NEVADA ON MENTAL HEALTH

For many years, mental health issues were a secret, private shame for many people. It wasn’t something you discussed, and when people in the family had mental issues, it was often hidden away. Today there are more people speaking out than ever, but there’s still a long way to go.

As The Nevada Independent reports, there was recently a big meeting in Nevada about how to care for people with mental health issues, and the meeting covered all four corners of the state to discuss how to better care for people in need. One of the most important issues concerned involuntary holds for teens and adults.

A Meeting of the Minds on Mental Health

It took people from the four corners of Nevada to come up with proposals on how to deal with mental health issues. These bills are being passed on to Nevada lawmakers in the hope that they will be pushed through. One proposal is hoping to revise the law on involuntary holds for people with mental issues that may need to be committed to psych hospitals. Another proposal hopes to put more strength behind mental health crisis services, as well as strengthening telemedicine for people in far-off counties.

As it turns out, the four corners of the state have similar interests and agendas when it comes to mental health, and it made sense for everyone to come together.

As Chuck Duarte, the CEO of Community Health Alliance, told The Nevada Independent, “It’s really brought together a lot of people and increasingly we’ve seen increased attendance of community members to the meetings. I think it has been a forum for not only people to hear about these issues but possible solutions.”

The boards that are trying to push new mental health laws through in Nevada are compromised of people who work in hospitals, substance abuse centers, mental health facilities, and more.

The Laws Under Consideration

One of the issues this mental health board is looking at is over Legal 2000s, or what’s known as involuntary mental health holds. As a source explained, the goal was to “clarify and standardize” the laws of legal holds in Nevada. They also want to “have a shared understanding across the state of how the legal hold process works.” If someone in your family or someone close to you has to be put under a legal hold, there will hopefully be “a document that really describes what it is and how to advocate for yourself in that process.”

Another issue that’s under consideration is when a hold begins exactly, whether you need to get help at a regular psych hospital, or a teen psych hospital. If you have to be put under a 72-hour hold, for example, would it begin after you get medical clearance? And the term medical clearance also needs better clarification as well.

Another issue under consideration is the language involving legal holds. The term “clear and present danger” could eventually be replaced by “substantial likelihood of serious harm.” There could also be more considerations into whether someone could be put in a legal hold if they could have a “substantial likelihood of serious harm in the near future.”

Again, there’s still a long way to go with many mental health issues, but it’s important to make sure the laws are clarified as much as possible, especially when it comes to teen mental health.