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Nevada Hospital Ships Out Mentally Ill Patients

Over the past five years, Nevada's primary psychiatric hospital has found a novel way to deal with their mentally ill patients: they put them on Greyhound buses and ship them to cities and towns across America. According to a newspaper report, "Since July 2008, Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has transported more than 1,500 patients to other cities via Greyhound bus, sending at least one person to every state in the continental United States." In 2012, the psych hospital bused out nearly 400 patients to a total of patients 176 cities across the nation.

The article also noted that the solution to this "problem" hurts real people. For example, James Brown, who is 48 and suffers from schizophrenia, was discharged in February and put on a bus headed for Sacramento, a place he had never visited and where he knew no one. Mr. Brown arrived in Sacramento without medication and without identification or access to his Social Security payments. He spent three days lingering in an emergency room until social workers were able to find him temporary housing.

Nevada mental health officials have acknowledged making mistakes (such as in Brown's case), but they haven't apologized for their policy of busing patients out of state.

Possible Preaching Topics: This could apply literally to the way we sometimes treat the mentally ill. Or it could also illustrate the way we do not want to treat any group of people who are troubled or inconvenient.

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