Vail Health CEO: Vote ‘yes’ for Eagle County Ballot 1A to fund mental health programs
October 4, 2017
On the frontlines where our police officers, paramedics, nurses and physicians see mental illness and substance abuse on full display, it is scary and heartbreaking. These issues affect every age and income level in Eagle County. Our role as a community is not to judge, but to help.
Mental illness and substance abuse are community epidemics that can only be solved by working together. Vail Health Hospital has seen a staggering 243 percent increase in detox patients from 210 encounters in 2014 to 511 in 2016. Our suicide rates in Eagle County are double the state average. We must come together to help our own.
Currently, there is no reliable funding mechanism to adequately address our growing behavioral health issues. For the first time, we have the opportunity to enact a very real solution toward improving mental health resources in Eagle County.
By taxing recreational marijuana, our community can establish $1.2 million in designated annual funding to help solve mental illness and substance abuse issues locally. These funds would not be used to build facilities, but to operate mental health walk-in clinics, respite care, crisis stabilization and social detox units through knowledgeable mental health experts.
We cannot rely on anyone outside this community to come to the rescue — we need to take care of our own. Please join me in voting "yes" for mental health on Eagle County Ballot 1A.
Recommended Stories For You
President and CEO, Vail Health
Trending In: Opinion
- Berlaimont Estates access route (letter)
- Democrats should communicate values, rather than just bashing Trump (letter)
- Backcountry Hunters & Anglers encourage sportsmen to vote public lands and waters (column)
- Diane Mitsch Bush most qualified to represent 3rd Congressional District (letter)
- Maybe it’s time to wipe the slate clean in Avon on Election Day (letter)
- Arson on the mountain: Vail’s 1998 arson fires at Two Elk were country’s worst eco-terrorist attack
- Standoff near Breckenridge between police and armed suspect
- Fire is burning north of Dotsero, near Sweetwater resort
- Aspen girl speaks out in video about alleged rape
- Hahnewald barn’s proposed first move would cost $390K, take up 12 parking spaces in downtown Avon