Letter to the editor: Why isn’t Summit County creating its own mental health agency?

After reading the December 19 Summit Daily article on mental health, I am thankful that we finally got to analyze mental health care seriously and critically at the Summit. The suicide statistics in Colorado, especially Summit, are terrifying. Community members die needlessly. Many try with passion, but we don’t support the best possible way: together.

While thinking about the article, I was wondering why no one is talking to me, my old local psychiatrist, or my colleagues on the mental health front lines? Instead, we are embroiled in discussions between failed businesses out of town and law enforcement through a local newspaper. This is why people avoid mental health care: the bureaucratic bulls – which often accompany them. The far-reaching mental health community, including private practice counselors, physicians forced to be aware of psychiatric medications (from a shortage of psychiatrists), paramedics/emergency medical teams, law enforcement, social services, forensic departments, educators – the list goes on of people who are fighting the uphill battle to support the mental health of our community. We little people, with our individual fingers in a leaky, cracked dam trying to keep it from exploding, can help.

There are allegedly millions of dollars worth of Millie Levi; Why not create our own mental health agency? To the top, through the top. The summit motivated smart and qualified people who are able to create something unique that serves us. Why not Summit work together, at all levels, to build our community-run, community-owned, and operated mental health agency? An agency that hires local doctors, handles the bills on both sides, and is a true one-stop shop for everything related to mental health. We need to connect and work together to grow and serve our amazing county from within. Combining the community’s financial resources with the wealth of knowledge, experience, and motivation of mental health professionals will save lives at Summit and improve our mental health.

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