From Children’s Advocacy Alliance:
Nevada’s children face a mental health crisis like never before.
Over 34,000 Nevada youth suffered from at least one major depressive episode in 2020. An estimated 22,000 did not receive treatment. Over 8,000 Nevada youth lack coverage for mental health even if they are insured.* Due to the lack of mental health providers, especially in rural areas, these numbers are undoubtedly higher.
Nevada is ranked 51st in the nation for the prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. Together, we can change that.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 17th at 9 am, the Interim Finance Committee (IFC) will meet to determine several of the Governor’s proposals to invest ARP funds into Nevada, including critically-needed funding for one of our most vulnerable populations – our children. Over $50 million dollars for children’s mental health services and investing in infrastructure to support our children at school, home, and in needed medical facilities.
At the beginning of each IFC meeting, there is an opportunity to provide public comment. Join Children’s Advocacy Alliance in calling in or emailing and testifying on the public record about how crucial this funding is. Don’t let our children face this crisis alone.
To Provide Public Comment:
Public testimony under this agenda item may be presented in-person, by phone, or by written comment. Because of time considerations, each person offering testimony during this period of public comment will be limited to not more than two minutes. You will be able to call in during this period of public comment in the meeting any time after 8:30 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2022. Dial (699)-900-6833 and when prompted to provide the Meeting ID, please enter 890 7174 9642 and then press #. When prompted for a Participant ID, please press #. To resolve any issues related to dialing in to provide public comment for this meeting, please call (775) 684-6990. A person may also have comments added to the minutes of the meeting by submitting them in writing either in addition to testifying or in lieu of testifying. Written comments may be submitted electronically before, during, or after the meeting by email to IFC@lcb.state.nv.us.
You may also mail written documents to:
Fiscal Analysis Division
401 South Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701
or fax them to (775) 684-6475
Key areas of this proposal include:
- Almost $15 million has been allocated for children’s wraparound care coordination and intensive case management. This effort will support the highest acuity youth and families. Wraparound services build on individual and family strengths by bringing families, providers, and key members of the family’s support network together to build a customized plan of care. Plans focus on keeping the family together in the least restrictive setting possible and ideal candidates for wraparound services are youth with moderate to high complex needs who are at risk of out-of-home placement. This funding will provide services to 1,000 families over a two-year period.
- $4,000,000 has been allocated to provide supplemental funding for school based mental health providers. This includes school social workers and mental health professionals that were temporarily staffed in our schools during the pandemic. Continuing these services at this time is critical for our youth.
- Another aspect of the Children’s System of Care plan is robust in-home treatment options. Almost $5 million has been allocated for this work which will allow children and youth to safely remain in the home while being provided intensive therapeutic and behavioral support services. With the increase in need for services for children and youth with complex behavioral health and development disabilities, this type of service is preferred for both prevention of unnecessary inpatient hospitalizations and to support reintegration into the home after transitioning from Psychiatric Rehabilitation Treatment Facilities (PRTF) or inpatient services. Often, specialized nursing care, physical therapy, language therapy, and additional youth and family supervision are necessary to keep the youth at home with their families. Supportive living with the goal of partnering with the family to keep the youth at high risk for displacement in the home reduces family and youth trauma, improves outcomes, decreases relinquishment, and ultimately decreases the cost to the system.
- The Division of Child and Family Services Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT) provide deployment to youth and families in need of urgent mental health care, assessment, and stabilization. 87% of youth are diverted from the need for higher levels of care including hospitalization. A proposal for $3.4 million will allow MCRT to support Clark County School District, Washoe County School District, and the Nevada Department of Education during after-school hours when school district teams cannot provide deployment and intervention.
- The children’s mental health crisis can also be mitigated with expanded utilization of planned and emergency respite to support families. Planned and emergency respite is an evidence-informed practice that can benefit children and families with complex mental health needs and those with developmental needs. Respite may be available to foster, kinship, and adoptive families, as well as birth families. Respite provides temporary relief for caregivers from the ongoing responsibility of caring for a child with behavioral health needs (including those with dual diagnosis) or in any special family circumstance that may place them at risk of out-of-home placement or child welfare involvement. These services reduce caregiver burnout, recognize the importance of supporting caregivers in caring for children and youth with complex needs, and emphasize out-of-home placement prevention. Almost $2.9 million has been proposed to support emergency and planned respite services for qualifying families.
- In addition to the support that respite provides, Family to Family Peer Support provides instrumental, social, and informational support to families with children with behavioral health and special education needs. Family members with lived experience work to support other families as they navigate community resources and this model has demonstrated success in helping families meet the needs of their children through individualized support plans, advocacy, parent education, and connection to care. With this proposal for $1.9 million, about 1,500 children will be served over a two-year period.
- Creating a system of care for children, youth, and families at risk or involvement with social services and child welfare services to meet their behavioral, mental, health, intellectual, and developmental needs is vital. A system of care includes community-based assessments and treatment options to promote healthy development, preserve the family unit, continue engagement in education, and maintain the highest levels of funding. The Clark County Clinical Division and China Spring Youth Camp in Douglas County are both working to support multi-system-involved youth with substance use and mental health issues. About $4.8 million has been allocated for this work.
- Youth in crisis are currently being held in inappropriate settings due to a lack of appropriate beds at Nevada facilities. A proposal for $6.7 million will allow the Division of Child and Family Services to implement tenancy improvements and adequate staffing at Desert Willow Treatment Center and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility Oasis. This will make more acute inpatient as well as residential treatment beds available so that Nevada youth with intensive needs can stay in-state during higher level of care placement.