Rise in mental health emergencies makes local ER workers fear for their safety

From LJWorld:

Ronan said there are at least 32 states where any such attack against an ER worker would be a felony. But Kansas does not have such a law.

Furthermore, he and other hospital workers said, because of well-documented problems at the state’s mental hospital in Osawatomie, there has been an ever-increasing number of psychiatric patients showing up in the LMH emergency room in recent months, with those patients staying for ever longer periods of time, resulting in a rapidly increasing number of attacks against emergency room workers.

“Fourth of July was when I was struck, and since that time there’s been a noticeable escalation,” he said. “We hold (mental health) people in our ER for over 100 hours sometimes because there’s just not places to put these people.”

Several of Ronan’s coworkers said they’ve had similar experiences. And they said they do not believe they’re getting enough protection or support, either from the state’s mental health system, from LMH itself or from the criminal justice system.

Rob Kort said he’s been assaulted more in the five years that he’s worked in the emergency room than in the whole 30 years he worked as an ambulance emergency medical technician.

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