Colorado AG visits with Grand leaders
Colorado’s Attorney General met with local government officials, law enforcement officers and health and education providers to field a range of questions about how his office could best assist Grand County.
Attorney General Phil Weiser visited Granby Tuesday morning where a large portion of the conversation focused on youth mental health and community building. Weiser said Grand County’s upcoming You Are Not Alone hike, which focuses on suicide prevention, could be a model for other communities to address mental health stigma.
“The effort to get school kids thinking about mental health and taking this hike together strikes me as a real model,” Weiser said. “We know that if people are willing to start talking about (mental health) then they can get the help they need.”
Through the existing Safe2Tell program in schools, which allows students to anonymously report concerns, Weiser’s office implemented a mental health support line. In June, suicide threats were the top concern reported to Safe2Tell with 103 reports out of a total of 512 that month.
Additionally, Weiser spoke about a civic education curriculum, called the Ginsburg-Scalia Initiative, his office is helping to create that aims to teach students about healthy discourse and multiparty governments.
“We need to teach young people that being a citizen means being engaged in conversation with others, not always people we agree with on everything, listening to them, learning from them and working together to solve problems,” he said.
Lastly, he updated the county on the recent opioid crisis settlements, which will provide Colorado with $400 million to combat substance abuse and support recovery efforts. The state is expecting to get the money by January 2022, with 60% of the funding being divided regionally and 20% of the funding going to local governments to support opioid abatement programs.
Grand County Commissioner Rich Cimino also asked whether Weiser’s office could help the county with the upcoming renegotiation of the Moffat Tunnel lease. Though Weiser said he’s not sure his office has direct authority in the area, he said he would provide whatever help he could.
“There are a range of issues where we can help even not necessarily having formal authority in the area, but informal authority and the interest in being a partner,” he said.
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