LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – New analysis found Nebraska could save money and keep the state’s most troubled youth closer to home by starting a state-run adolescent mental health facility.
The Omaha World-Herald reports that the analysis was presented to the Legislative Assembly’s Special Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Oversight Committee on Friday.
Karen Chinn, a consultant who worked on the study, said young people in Nebraska are going to other states because the state’s private treatment programs will not accept them.
These young people tend to be adolescents with aggressive and violent behavior who have experienced trauma and have been placed outside the home from an early age.
She said Nebraska sent between 39 and 74 such young people to states as far away as Tennessee and South Carolina every year from 2015 until this year. It cost $ 9.1 million in 2019.
His analysis showed that the state could operate a 24-bed residential psychiatric treatment facility at an estimated cost of $ 3.8 million per year. The study estimated that such a facility could be built on the Lincoln State Psychiatric Hospital campus for $ 12.7 million.
Chinn told the committee that they could also serve the same young people by working to expand the capacity of private treatment programs to deal with more difficult young people.
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