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KPBS Midday Edition

Patients Cycle Through The System Due To Shortage Of Mental Health Facilities

UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is shown in this undated photo.
UC Medical Center
UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is shown in this undated photo.
There is a shortage of both inpatient and longer-term care facilities in San Diego County.

More people dealing with a mental health crisis are seeking help at San Diego County emergency rooms and are staying there longer due to a lack of next-step facilities in the county.

There is a shortage of both inpatient and longer-term care facilities in the county. The shortage forces some patients to go without the care they need, thus repeating the cycle.

UC San Diego Health’s La Jolla and Hillcrest ERs saw a 22% increase in psychiatric visits last year as compared to 2014. That’s according to reporting by Jared Whitlock of the San Diego Business Journal.

Whitlock reported on mental health care in the county in a three-part series published this month in the journal. Whitlock joins KPBS Midday Edition Tuesday to discuss how the shortage is impacting patients and local hospitals.