Letter: Students, families and community will thank you for voting ‘yes’ on A1 | VailDaily.com

Letter: Students, families and community will thank you for voting ‘yes’ on A1

There is a desperate need for additional mental health services for our young people in Eagle County. As assistant principal of a middle school, I see firsthand the struggles of our young students and their families.

For years, the Health Kids Colorado Survey was administered only to our high school students, and it showed that the two areas of biggest concern were substance abuse and mental health. A few years ago, the survey was offered to the students in middle school and the results reported that nearly 13 percent of Eagle County’s seventh- and eighth-graders have made a suicide plan and 6.5 percent have made attempt (source: Healthy Kids Colorado Survey; Eagle County results 2015).

The nearest facility for help is Grand Junction or Denver, which in itself is a deterrent to receiving care but makes it all but impossible for parents to provide ongoing support to their child while they receive care. A network of support is crucial for students and families, and a two-hour drive each way is not the answer.

Our schools work hard every day to ensure that all students are learning. We have goals and expectations for everything we do; however, it is difficult for students to learn when they are struggling with mental-health issues. We need community assistance, and Ballot Issue 1A, a small tax on recreational marijuana, can provide that help.

I urge you to support this initiative by voting “yes” on 1A; our students, families and community will thank you.

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Harry McQueeney

Assistant principal, Eagle Valley Middle School

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