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.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Jack Eck, M.D.