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August 1, 2014

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Closure of downtown Las Vegas mental health clinic to make way for 24-hour clinic

A legislative subcommittee Friday approved closing a mental health clinic in downtown Las Vegas and opening a 24-hour psychiatric clinic in the northwest valley.

The 13 employees from the downtown clinic will be transferred to the main campus of Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services on West Charleston Boulevard, where a seven-day, 24-hour clinic will be opened to provide psychiatric services.

The closure was described by the agency as the best way to finance an urgent care facility. The clinic on West Charleston is expected to help reduce the number of mentally ill patients going to hospital emergency rooms.

The Senate-Assembly Budget Subcommittee previously held up approval of the move because of concerns expressed by Senate Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, and some advocacy groups.

In the end, Horne agreed with the decision to phase out the downtown clinic over six months, which will save $721,174.

The subcommittee also voted to approve Gov. Brian Sandoval’s plan to add $3.1 million over the next two years to provide so-called “wrap around” services and transitional housing in Clark County to those who are released from jails, prisons or forensic hospitals and need mental health services.

In addition, the subcommittee voted to spend an additional $3.6 million over the next two years for the treatment of children with autism. The subcommittee accepted Sandvoal’s proposal to increase the state’s program to 341 children from 137 children.

There are 299 children on a waiting list for services.

Several lawmakers suggested the funding be increased $6.9 million more than the governor’s budget to clear the waiting list. While accepting the governor’s recommendation, the subcommittee said it would look later to see if additional money can be allocated to the program.

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