(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–Former CBS and now AXS TV anchor Dan Rather spoke to KXNT’s Las Vegas Morning News about an upcoming report on the nation’s mental health crisis, including ‘patient dumping’ allegations in Nevada.
The program is a one-hour weekly investigative report, and will air at 5p Pacific time Tuesday.
Although the program deals in part with the problems at Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, “this is a national problem”, says Rather.
He told KXNT’s Joe Gillespie and Dayna Roselli “People with mental disorders, picked up by police, put in jail, some of them wind up in prison, they overwhelm the emergency rooms, as they did in Las Vegas”.
“Nationally, we are not dealing with the crisis of mental disorders. About twenty five percent of our population is estimated to have mental disorders of one kind or another. About 3 to 6 percent of those are serious mental disorders such as bipolarism or schizophrenia. We just dont have a situation for dealing with them”, said Rather.
The Rawson Neal situation came to light when a discharged patient was given a one-way bus ticket to Sacramento with no follow-up arrangements. The man had no connections to Sacramento or relatives or caregivers there.
The case led to additional study in which it was learned that busing psychiatric patients out of Nevada, mostly to California, had become commonplace. Prosecutors in San Francisco and Los Angeles have been investigating the allegations of patient dumping.