Vail Health’s Dr. Jack Eck: Cast your vote in support of mental health funding | VailDaily.com

Vail Health’s Dr. Jack Eck: Cast your vote in support of mental health funding

I urge everyone in the community to consider the importance of voting yes on ballot issue 1A for mental health. As a Vietnam veteran, I witnessed the destruction drugs had on the population and our troops in that frustrating war. I also witnessed the need for mental health and substance abuse facilities as a practicing internal medicine and intensive care physician in our local community.

It is extremely difficult to find a safe place in our community for patients suffering the ravages of substance abuse and mental disorders. Unfortunately, Eagle County has no in-patient facility and Colorado has few facilities to accommodate patients with these needs.

Voting yes on 1A would allow a tax on recreational marijuana, generating $1.2 million annually for mental health services. These funds would dramatically increase the presence of mental health counselors in schools and would improve mental health walk-in clinic hours. The dollars would also allow for an integrated facility to house a 24/7 walk-in clinic, crisis and respite care stabilization beds and a social detox unit. These improvements could significantly help address the current deficiency and enhance the well-being of our community as a whole.

This community has always tried to respond to the needs of others. This is a critical need and an opportunity to use these funds wisely to help our family, friends and neighbors.

We must come together as a community. "Doing nothing" isn't an option; this is a problem we must all address and solve together. Ballots have been mailed and are due on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Please make sure to cast your vote.

Jack Eck, M.D.

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