Gov. Sandoval announces creation of state mental health council - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Gov. Sandoval announces creation of state mental health council

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An undated photo of Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas. (File/FOX5) An undated photo of Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

On Monday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announced the creation of the Behavioral Health and Wellness Council. The council will be charged with making recommendations for changes to the state's mental health system.

Sandoval said the council will be made up of legislators, law enforcement and mental health professional.

The move came as the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported new allegations in the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital patient-dumping scandal.

Rawson-Neal is accused of putting as many as 1,000 patients on buses with one-way tickets. The Bee on Sunday reported some of those patients committed crimes in the cities they were shipped to. Sandoval's office said he is appalled by the new allegations, that they are being investigated and those responsible will be held accountable.

Meanwhile, Nevada's Department of Health and Human Services on Monday told FOX5 it has launched multiple investigations into Rawson-Neal, resulting in firings, the strengthening of policies and the changes to protocol for discharging patients.

The department further said it is spending $30 million to improve the state's mental health system by adding treatment options by way of community initiatives and home visiting programs, among others.

The Behavioral Health and Wellness Council will submit two reports per year, one before May 31 and the second before Dec. 31. It will be divided into regional subcommittees and subject to open meeting law requirements.

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