Several rural sheriffs, in interviews with The Nevada Independent, said they know that the back of their police car or, in some cases, a jail cell is not the best place for a person experiencing a mental health crisis. But sometimes there’s no other option.
“I guess I could just say one word. My first word is ugly,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee. “It’s not a pretty process.”
Nevada suffers from a shortage of mental health resources statewide, landing in 51st place in Mental Health America’s state rankings again this year. The problem is particularly severe in the state’s rural and frontier counties, where the burden of ensuring that people in need of acute mental health care receive the treatment they need often falls on the shoulders of rural emergency rooms and law enforcement.
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