Minnesota Public Radio: In rural Minnesota, a scarcity of beds for people in crisis

EXCERPT: “Like in other places, the emergency department at the Rainy Lake Medical Center is where people come if they think they’re having a heart attack or have broken their arm or find themselves in a mental health crisis. But unlike some hospitals, there’s no special emergency department for people in crisis and no inpatient beds for psychiatry patients in International Falls, Minn., a city of 6,000 people near the Canadian border. The shortage of mental health care in rural areas means patients in need of inpatient psychiatric care are often waiting days to be transferred to beds far from home. It’s a situation that’s challenging for patients, families and health care providers, one with no obvious solution. At the hospital, you can see how providers have to make do. Instead of a psychiatric emergency department, there’s a room next to the nurse’s station, which can be retrofitted to make it safe if people are experiencing psychosis or threatening to hurt themselves.” FULL STORY: http://bit.ly/3a5VAkr