Dennis Fisher: Mental health knowledge

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Dear Routt County citizens,

On Saturday, The Steamboat Grand hotel hosted the third annual Yampa Valley Wellness Conference. The facility and hospitality are first class, and the day was paid for by local sponsors. 

The eight-hour agenda included two keynote speakers, a featured luncheon speaker and eight breakout sessions. A tremendous amount of recent, leading edge psychological research and practice was presented and discussed by excellent practitioners who “know where of they speak.” While today there is an alarming increase in the number of people, particularly the young, suffering from mental illness, there also is an acknowledged “revolution” in our understanding of the driving forces behind our behavior. 

The most important and critical component to gradual resolution of any mental health issue affecting an individual, and therefore the community, is for everyone in the community to acknowledge and openly and routinely make part of the community conversation the reality of mental illness as a disease of one part of one of the human organs and something that can be healed.

Just as children involved in the county child welfare program are, in a broader respect, the county’s children, folks needing mental health services are our neighbors and friends and, just like all of us, need the support of one another. 

 Congratulations to Tom Gangel and his crew for their excellent work once again. This should be a required class for all Routt County citizens.

Dennis Fisher

Steamboat Springs

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