LAS VEGAS (KKSNV & MyNews3) -- Southern Nevada is about to receive some much needed help for mental health care. Several dozen new beds are going to be available at Montevista Hospital as it expands its psychiatric residential treatment facility.
"The design of the building is oversized hallways, higher ceilings than normal," explains Jim Shaheen, President of Montevista's parent company, Strategic Behavioral Health.
Shaheen is proud of the expansion, which will add 72 new mental health beds to Southern Nevada. Of those beds, 48 will be devoted to kids ages 12 to 17 with severe and fragile issues including suicidal tendencies.
"These kids are dealing with a tremendous amount of trauma, child sexual trauma, child abuse trauma; these kids are dealing with significant substance abuse issues. These kids are dealing with severe depression issues as a result of some of that trauma," Shaheen said.
Shaheen says many of the young patients from Southern Nevada have travelled to Reno or even out of state for this kind of specialized treatment, making it difficult for their families to be involved. Once the finishing touches are done at Montevista, they can come here.
"We really wanted to solve that problem by having the kids come home and get treatment locally where the families can be involved," Shaheen said.
At a time when mental health bed availability is rare, 24 new beds for adults will also be opening. These additional beds will help relieve crowding at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, UMC, and others dealing with bed shortages that often forces patients to turn to emergency rooms.
"It is a true blessing to be able to bring additional much needed services to this community. We are an integral part of this community and have been for some time," Shaheen said.
Not only will there be 72 new beds -- there will be classrooms and rooms for therapy.
Montevista currently operates 90 mental health beds which are constantly used.
The hospital is also expanding its facilities for geriatric care.