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This summer, with a friend, I had an unfortunate encounter with REPS at the Yampa Valley Hospital. It was a disaster. REPS offered no follow-up to my friend, nor any comfort to my friend while in the Yampa Valley Hospital. As is procedure, a suicidal patient is cuffed and shackled and transferred to a facility in Grand Junction or Denver. My friend feels more lost now than ever. She can trust our mental health system, as she reached out for help and did not receive any. Once in Grand Junction a doctor spent only three minutes with her. It appears, as the system now operates, it does on occasion more harm than good.
What our community needs is funding for more actual mental health services. It can now take up to two months to get an appointment with a psychiatrist. We need services to help those in need before they get to the point of needing hospitilzation
Suicide happens for different reasons. Many people commit suicide knowing that people care about them, however, due to depression etc they are not thinking clearly and they feel desperate and hopeless. Also, many have asked for help and instead been trated like a crimminal and will not ask for help again.
Off the top of my head I can think of several solutions to the funding issue:
1. Increase taxes.
2. Decrease the "loop-holes" that allow top earners and corporations to not pay taxes.
3. Have fund raisers, such as for breast cancer, for mental health issues.
Also, it doesn't cost a cent to end treating those with mental health issues as if they are crimminals. It does't cost a cent to stop cuffing suicide patients. It doesn't cost a cent to have a hot line that does not go through the police department. It doesn't cost a cent to run articles on how to protect our mental health. It doesn't cost a cent to provide care for those before they become suicidal.
I have been told that Colorado has the fourth lowest Mental Health Funding in the country. If we seriously want to lower the suicide rate, we have to increase the funding for mental health services. Due to this lack of funding and lack of awareness, it can take up to six weeks for a depressed and suicidal individual to attain an appointment with a psychiatrist.
We also have to shift the focus away from treating suicidal patients like criminals. To take away the dignity of someone by shackling and cuffing them and loading them in the back of a police car for transport to Grand Junction is horrid. Steamboat does not have a psych facility, thus the need for a transfer. Once admitted to the Grand Junction facility, the access to a psychiatrist is still limited.
There is much that can be done to improve our Mental Health Services. First, we need to agree that what we are now doing is not working. Then we can make a plan and a commitment to make changes.
I have fond memories of my dad, a man of the utmost of integrity, taking me to Reno and Vegas to teach me how to play cards. Not only did my father teach me how to win, he taught me how to have fun and how to manage my money. We also went to hundreds of shows throughout the years, buffet after buffet, toured Hoover Damn, went boating in Lake Mead and hiked the Red Rocks. What tied all of this together were the casinos. During my dad’s last few years, as his Alzheimer’s became more significant, my brother and I could still take him to the casinos to play the slots. Then he would smile and laugh. Now, when I walk through a casino and I hear all the laughter I smile, and I am comforted with memoires of the most wonderful of dads.
All this talk has made me homesick…..I just booked a weekend at Redondo beach! The one thing about Cali….Californians are resilient….they do not just sit back and wait for the recession and hard times to pass…they keep pushing forward. And the amazing universities, in Cali, keep producing great minds. They have had issues balancing that budget for the past 20 years….yes….things are more complex now...but I have confidence that not just California will pull, so will our country. The question is, with how much dignity? Unemployment has played a major role for every state, not just California, the same with retirement and healthcare costs. I question, Scott,that "much" of California's budget problems are unemployment costs, as their budget crisis started years before the recession hit the rest of us. The answer to their issues are much deeper, and multi-factorial.
Scott....since California's budget needs to be balanced this August....isn't that when spending cut decisions will be made? And since the California budget is balanced every year....a balanced budget doesn't appear to be the answer to their economic situation, right???
Rob....no one is arguing that the exonmy is not suffering in California. What is of debate is what this means to the national economy and what we should learn from the situation in California. And, also of interest is that inspite of the bad economic environment in California so many businesses and individuals are still thriving.
Fred, why I continue to have a discussion with someone that would post such a vile statement about my optimism is only an indication that, for the moment, I am trying to fill time. Give an example of one of those gimmicks trotted out by Sacramento. Our country is dealing with issues states never face - such as war. That alone is reason enough to limit comparision between state and federal government. I recommend to Colorado businesses to look at these California companies that are thriving despite our national economy and their state economy.
Fred, the situation in California is more complicated than having a balnced budget. In fact, based on this letter the argument can be made that the one thing we can learn from California is that a balanced budget ALONE (which they have every year) does NOT lead to a healthy economy...and that tax cuts (prop 13) do not lead to a healthy economy. If you want to argue that it is the "California attitude" that has brought California to it's knees, I would like to see some actual support. I spoke with some friends yesterday, we all have several friends in Colorado that are having a difficult time finding employment or are under employed. We then paused, and thought about our California friends. They are all employed and they are thriving. The dot-com industry has made a come back in the valley. Yet, California is still in great danger....along with the rest of the United States. I am not yet arguing one side or the other, I am looking for a well defended argument. So many people are making such weak arguments to support their political desires. I long for a well thought out, well established and intelligent argument.
Last login: Friday, September 7, 2012
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