MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE Treatment For Mental Health Is Limited
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Dec. 18, 2012 6:57 PM EST
EYEWITNESS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO C L I C K T O P L A Y
, Kanawha County
, West Virginia
While a lot of focus in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut is on policy and particularly gun control, mental health cannot be ignored.
But finding help can often be a challenge. There are only five in-patient mental health facilities in the state.
Jim Strawn with Highland Hospital in Kanawha City says one in three families deal with some sort of mental illness, and many times they have to travel far to get treatment.
Highland hospital recently opened a new 98 bed facility, daily they treat 70 patients, twice as many as they did before because of space constraints. But Strawn says the newest challenge is recruiting psychologists to meet the need. Insurance coverage is another challenge, with companies often dictating lengths of stays.
Strawn hopes the tragedy in Connecticut will start a dialogue about the importance of treating mental health issues.
Highland hospital is in the process of building a facility in Clarksburg with 150 beds.