Las Vegas, NV August 20, 2021
The Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) is taking action to improve care for children and youth with mental health needs at the State of Nevada’s campus for vulnerable populations in Las Vegas.
In order to maximize the Division’s capacity to serve youth with the highest level of need, the Division will integrate the programs of the two Southern Nevada facilities, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility Oasis (PRTF-Oasis) and Desert Willow Treatment Center (DWTC). This will move the existing PRTF-Oasis beds into empty areas of DWTC, which have been closed for several years and will benefit the youth served by the programs.
“Continuing operations as we have in the past is no longer meeting the community need to serve Nevada families,” said DCFS Administrator Ross Armstrong. “Moving PRTF-Oasis into DWTC will allow us to enhance the quality of care for children and youth as well as open opportunities to maximize the capacity of children’s services on the campus.”
Following the move, an additional 28 beds will be available in the children’s behavioral health service array in Southern Nevada, as the existing homes at PRTF-Oasis will become available for use by a community or other provider. The Division and the Department of Health and Human Services are actively engaged with Clark County and community stakeholders to help shape the future of the Oasis buildings and the other areas on the State of Nevada’s Southern Nevada Campus.
Dr. Megan Freeman, Licensed Psychologist with DCFS, will lead the effort to ensure all partners are working in good faith with true collaboration to respond to the current behavioral health crisis. Dr. Freeman was recently appointed the Children’s Mental Health Authority by the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Expanding residential services at DCFS’ Southern Nevada campus is the next step in addressing gaps in behavioral health care for youth with the highest level of need,” said Dr. Freeman. “It is also just a first step toward transforming the landscape of our children’s behavioral health system in Nevada.”
As is the case in many states, due to COVID-19, communities across Nevada have experienced widespread disruptions to the school and home lives of children and families. This has caused a significant increase in rates of depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health concerns in children and adolescents. DCFS is exploring funding mechanisms and community partnerships to expand the community-based service array to better meet the needs of all youth across a spectrum of needs.
Additional information about the integration can be found on the DCFS website at https://bit.ly/CMHintegration