State hospital superintendent: Oil boom creating increase in servicesJAMESTOWN — Health officials are continuing to monitor the Oil Patch for changes in mental health and substance abuse needs, the North Dakota State Hospital Governing Board learned Monday at its quarterly meeting.
By: By Kari Lucin , The Dickinson Press
JAMESTOWN — Health officials are continuing to monitor the Oil Patch for changes in mental health and substance abuse needs, the North Dakota State Hospital Governing Board learned Monday at its quarterly meeting.
“From the standpoint of the number of people coming here (to the North Dakota State Hospital), we have not seen much of a change,” said Alex Schweitzer, hospital superintendent, after the meeting.
The State Hospital serves as the primary inpatient facility for the Jamestown, Devils Lake, Dickinson and Williston regions.
The hospital gets about 3 percent of its admissions from the northwest region, which has no inpatient hospital for psychiatric care, he added.
“I can tell you in the region they have seen an increase in care,” Schweitzer said.
Much of that increase has been in medication management, he explained, for people who take psychiatric drugs from antidepressants to antipsychotics. Some of those people come in and have blood tests or see psychiatrists.
It’s not necessarily people who work in the oil fields, either.
“It could happen because there’s stressors with housing, jobs, stressors with the cost of living up there,” Schweitzer said. “The oil boom has created an increase in our service of medication management (for) severe, moderate or mild mental illness.”
Lucin writes for The Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.