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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has cut down on the number of beds reserved for psychiatric treatment, following California's general decrease in mental health facilities over the last 15 years.
Times are getting tougher, and there are fewer and fewer places for people to go to cope with the challenges. Changes in the organization of healthcare services and cutbacks in mental health treatment facilities have prompted the imminent closing of Cedars-Sinai's in-patient and out-patient psychiatry programs over the next year.
Mental health services will be retained in the emergency room and cancer treatment wings, but the facility's 51 psychiatric beds and 1,800 out-patient customers will have to turn elsewhere for treatment. The decision by Cedars-Sinai reflects current downward trends in-patient psychiatric treatment in California, which has seen a reduction of 2000 beds over a 15-year period. Other planned cuts will follow as the medical center phases out all services not directly associated with another specialty – like cancer treatment or veterans services.
How will those with mental illnesses deal with the changes? Is mental healthcare an essential part of wellness?
Randall Hagar, government affairs director, California Psychiatric Association
Louise McCarthy, president, CEO, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County