Local psychiatric hospital closing, creates changes for local law enforcement

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 4:52 PM CDT
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The closing of Rock Prairie Behavioral Health will have an impact on mental health services in our community and an impact on local law enforcement.

In the last year the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, Bryan, College Station and Texas A&M University Police transported around 900 patients to the psychiatric facility.

Sheriff Chris Kirk says the closure will force agencies like the sheriff’s office to transport mental health patients to different counties for treatment.

“It was a simple matter of transporting them to College Station and finding the help they needed. Now we have to rely on our contacts outside of the community,” said Kirk.

Lauren Light with the MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley says there’s only so much local ER’s can do to help with care.

“They are not able to provide that immediate acute care that Rock Prairie would, for the purpose of stabilizing a psychiatric crisis,” said Light.

Kirk says patients will be transported to hospitals in Bell, Harris and Travis County, extending causing a longer delay in treatment.

“That can be critical in some situations so , you know, it’s not just our people that are having to spend more time on the road transporting but it’s the impact on the patient as well.

Light says finding the resources to transport will also be a challenge

“There is going to be a delay in figuring out how people are going to get to the hospitals local law enforcement isn’t always going to be able to be diverted to another county,” said Light.

She says they will continue to work to provide the right care for those in need.

“It’s going to take some coordinating and we’re going to work with community partners and agencies to figure out how to fill that gap,” said Light.

Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.

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