Letter: Grand County must come together on mental health | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Grand County must come together on mental health

The CDC has reported that 50% of adults in the U.S will experience a diagnosable mental health disorder in their lifetime. Our mental health affects our family, our job, how well we live and how soon we die.

Depression is often a recurring disorder, and was once thought of as a character flaw. Today research has identified physiological and genetic factors involved.

Suicide rates across the country have increased at alarming rates. Still, many suffer in silence, trying desperately to control the most complicated part of our body, the human brain. There is a strong link between substance abuse and suicide as well as other mental health issues. Increased addiction in a community leads to higher crime rates and lower quality of living. As common as mental health issues are, why is it such a taboo topic? When faced with physical health issues we seek advice and treatment before a crisis, which is often not the case with our mental health. Research has brought us a better understanding of disease processes and treatments.

In addition to availability of effective treatment, stigma remains a major hurdle. Understanding of the range of mental health issues and celebrities sharing their stories has helped. Public education, ownership and funding has lagged greatly putting us at the verge of crisis. In Grand County the need for both addiction and mental health treatment have risen greatly and direct services have continued to decline. We cannot rely on the same way of doing business and expect different results.

Before great change must come a time of painful recognition.

Grand County has much untapped potential to come together and find solutions that fit our needs. We cannot sit back and rely on the same handful of people to come up with a solution. We are a resourceful community filled with passionate people. It is time we come together and focus on our greatest asset, each other.

Peg O’Neill


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.