NC in ‘dire’ need of more hospital beds for mental health patients

NC needs more hospital beds for mental health patients (Photo: Pixabay)

RALEIGH, NC  (WTVD) — The need for more behavioral health-specific hospital beds is evident inside practically every emergency department in the state.

“There’s nothing more frustrating as a health care provider, when someone needs something that you can’t give them,” described Dr. Micah Krempasky, a chief medical officer at WakeMed.

WakeMed predicted it will complete around 13,700 mental health consultations in its emergency departments this year; 4,300 more than in 2019.

While demand grows, the number of resources to support it is not.

Across the state, patients are waiting an average of 12 days to get into a state psychiatric hospital after an emergency department refers them. It is double the wait time from three years ago and nearly four times longer than in 2013.

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