Clint Koble Speaks Out on Suicide Prevention and Nevada’s Inadequate Access to Mental Health Services;
Reno, NV. —
“Two recent celebrity suicides once again remind us of the importance of accessible and affordable mental health care services,” said Clint Koble, Democratic Candidate for Congressional District 2. “Nevada has the unenviable distinction of ranking #51 among the states and District of Columbia in overall prevalence of mental illness and access to care,” said Koble. (Note: The ranking indicates higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to health care.) “According to Mental Health America, we sit at the bottom due to the high number of adults and youth with mental illness, high level of alcohol and drug dependence, large incidence of suicidal thoughts and attempts and the poor availability of mental health services. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for Nevada youth aged 15-24. This is not a rating we should be proud of.
“These are all disturbing statistics, but I’m most alarmed by the data showing that many Nevada youth suffering with mental health problems don’t have access to mental health services, either because they’re uninsured or their private insurance doesn’t cover mental or emotional problems. Data show that rates of severe youth depression have increased by nearly 40 per cent over the last 5 years.
“And to add to these devastating statistics, Congressman Mark Amodei and other Republicans this week voted to cut funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Cutting CHIP funding could severely impact Nevadans’ access to mental health services. The loss of federal support could also make it harder for Nevada to respond to public health crises such as the current opioid epidemic, an epidemic that also affects our children.
“My goal is to work with the suicide prevention community and health care providers to increase access to affordable mental health care services. I support a plan that would provide affordable health care for all Americans,” Koble said.
Koble, appointed by President Obama, served as State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency. He earlier worked as Executive Director of the Nevada Rural Development Council and presently serves part-time for the for the Nevada Small Business Development Center, helping create jobs and small businesses throughout rural Nevada.