Local Advisory Council Co-Chair Linda Matsler gave a mental health report to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

A presentation on the growing mental health crisis in Stevens County was made at yesterday’s meeting of the Stevens County Board of Commissioners by Local Advisory Council Co-Chair Linda Matsler. She noted that one in six adults live with mental illness and locally, there is a lack of funding and a lack of mental health care providers.

She said Stevens Community Medical Center lost its only psychiatric provider in October and the position is still vacant. Local hospitals unequipped to deal with mental health patients, Matsler said, become merely a holding place to keep patients safe, while some travel up to five hours away for hospital placement. While there are crisis beds in Alexandria and Fergus Falls, the lack of transportation sometimes leads to an inability to access the beds.

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