LAS VEGAS -- County commissioners say they want to see more resources devoted to people who need mental health care in our community.
They're calling on state and federal lawmakers to take action after they received a sobering status check Tuesday on the dire need for improvement in the system.
News 3's Marissa Mike has the report.
“We need to step up and do something about it. We need bring some people to the table,” said Commissioner Lawrence Weekly.
County commissioners say they don't have to look far to see the mental health system in Clark County is broken. From the case of deceased veteran Stanley Gibson to the case of the mental patient recently put on a bus to California.
“We had a veteran who lost his life because the federal mental health system at the VA clinic let him down,” Commissioner Steve Sisolak said. “I was appalled to read the series in the Sacramento Bee about the patient dumping in California.”
Commissioners heard sobering numbers including 20 percent of the inmates at the Clark County Detention Center are on psychiatric drugs, making it one of the largest mental facilities in the county.
At UMC, doctors have seen a 15 percent increase in patients with mental problems.
“It's an untenable and unsatisfactory situation,” said UMC CEO Brian Brannman.
At UMC, 4,000 people were admitted into the emergency room with mental health problems over a two-year period. More than half were in a critical mental state.
Commissioners want to see prevention of tragedies not action after they've happened.
“We can't keep kicking this because we got lives that are affected here,” Sisolak said. “ We have lives being lost as a result of this. Another tragedy is going to come down the road here because we didn't provide adequate mental health services for someone.”