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Nevada mental health patients given one-way tickets to Baton Rouge

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Posted: Apr 30, 2013 9:35 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Apr 30, 2013 9:35 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: mental, ill, patients, Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital, Las Vegas, Louisiana, greyhound therapy, greyhound, one-way ticket, bus

BATON ROUGE - As many as 17 patients from the Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas were put on buses and sent to Louisiana.

An investigation by the Sacramento Bee found the group was part of more than 1400 given one-way tickets out of town, often fending for themselves and with no warning to local healthcare officials.

"Our risk is more financial but the risk of harm is more with the homeless person," Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless Executive Director Randy Nichols said. He believes what's called "Greyhound Therapy" is happening across the country; meaning patients were told to get out of town and get treatment somewhere else.

It appears this was happening between 2009 and 2012. Leaders in Louisiana did not know it was going on.

"While we are unaware of any patients being transported from the Nevada facility...We have not used, nor would we ever condone, any process that did not allow for the individual to be safely and appropriately transitioned back into the community," Anthony Speier, Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services said.

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