Las Vegas mental patients struggling after discharge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – An investigation has found that some patients discharged from the state mental hospital in Las Vegas live in poor conditions, including going hungry, while staying in boarding homes in the northern New Mexico city.

The Albuquerque Journal found that the state mental hospital, formally known as the Behavioral Health Institute, discharges about 200 patients each year into Las Vegas and surrounding San Miguel County and that many don’t have anywhere to go.

The newspaper investigation found many end up in boarding homes that are ill-equipped to handle their ongoing mental health needs, forcing them to spend a large portion of their $750 in monthly Social Security disability benefits on room and meals.

The state Health Department says it doesn’t have the authority to regulate boarding homes. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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