Sunday, September 10, 2000
Steamboat Springs When a plane crashed in Steamboat last week, licensed professionals from Steamboat Mental Health Center were immediately on the scene to help counsel survivors of the tragedy.
In fact, wherever residents need emergency mental health services, Steamboat Mental Health Center provides consistent, continual licensed professionals to lend their services.
United Way Day of Caring is coming up next week. Last year, more than 500 volunteers helped seniors, neighbors, and many community organizations to paint, trim, build, rake, scrape, sand, clean, pack and dust, among several other services and odd but much-needed jobs. Several local businesses, groups and individuals have already signed up to volunteer for the 30-plus projects submitted so far. The fourth annual Day of Caring will be Sept. 20.
The emergency services are available largely due to funds raised in last year's United Way Campaign. Steamboat Mental Health Center was able to hire Sandy Papp to provide full-time emergency mental health services because of help from the Routt County commissioners, sheriff's department, Yampa Valley Medical Center, and money donated by community members and businesses to last year's United Way Campaign. So understandably, the mental health center is a strong advocate of the United Way campaign, which will kick off another season on Wednesday.
"We're glad to support the kick-off," said David Reed, a Steamboat Mental Health Center therapist and emergency services clinician said.
Residents who may not think they're really connected to United Way's efforts may actually find they have directly benefited from the organization's and community's generosity.
Until recently, mental health patients had been finding themselves out of an already-scheduled appointment when their counselors were called away to emergencies.
"We haven't increased our availability, we've always had it," Reed said. "But we now have somebody who's almost always available, which is less disruptive and more consistent. It allows us to do more than simply be available for an individual's mental health emergency, like helping the crash tragedy survivors last week."
Steamboat Mental Health Center is just one of many local agencies working hand-in-hand with United Way to improve some of the county's philanthropic and humanitarian businesses and organizations.
Last year, Steamboat surpassed its fund-raising goal of $200,000, and ended the 1999 United Way campaign with a total of $278,000.
"I've already talked to the Steamboat schools," United Way Executive Director Donna Horii. "I have no doubt they'll come in just as strong as ever."
Every year in Steamboat, support for United Way seems to grow, she said. Last year, she actually had to turn away volunteers at Thanksgiving and Christmas because the non-profit organization only needed so many.
The kick-off for this season's campaign will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday on the courthouse lawn, where the United Way barometer will be mounted.