Wyoming's Mental Health Care Crisis
- Hosted by Miles Bryan
Every year in Wyoming hundreds of people are detained by law enforcement and treated against their will for mental health issues. The system that regulates this treatment is known as “Title 25”. It doesn’t come up much in the news, but for those who provide or need mental health services in the state it's a matter of growing concern. The state budgeted 5 million dollars to pay for Title 25 this year and next year: current projections say the actual cost will be around 16 million dollars, and that doesn’t include the millions that individual counties will spend. Those costs correspond to more people moving through the system: the number of Title 25 patients has gone up 50 percent in the last three years.
Wyoming Public Radio spent months looking into how Title 25 works in the state. What we found was a system that did not communicate effectively and was slow to adapt to the needs of individual counties and of people detained and treated against their will. That has led to ballooning costs and substandard care for many people, especially those who live in rural counties. The Title 25 system has also done too little to keep people from going through the process over and over again.
Wyoming's Mental Health Crisis By the Numbers: