They are Us, part three: Law enforcement, legal and medical systems bear weight of increase in mental health crises |

They are Us, part three: Law enforcement, legal and medical systems bear weight of increase in mental health crises

They are Us is a four-part, in-depth series by Sky-Hi News about mental health in Grand County. Throughout this series, which will be in print and on our website every Friday throughout April, you will meet several local people who struggle with mental health issues, both personally and professionally. We share their stories and how they connect to the systemic issues facing local mental health. Their stories are woven together through all four parts, giving mental health in Grand County a visible face while examining the issues and what’s being done to address them.


Part Three: Law enforcement has quickly become the unintentional first responders when a mental health crisis arises in Grand County, even if the person hasn’t committed a crime. In our third installment, Weighing on the System, we take a close look at mental health and potential barriers to care from the perspective of local law enforcement, the judicial system and health care professionals.


Mental health issues are not a problem that can easily be solved, but they can be brought to light. People’s stories can be told and barriers to care can be exposed.

That’s the goal of our four-part mental health series, They are Us.

We understand that this series won’t remedy all the problems here in Grand County. Instead our mission is to start a public discourse about mental illness, to highlight the things needing change, to share the often intimate, uncomfortable stories of your friends, neighbors and co-workers who are trying to work through an invisible, internal crisis. We want to give mental illness a visible face.

We’re here to say that struggling with mental illness isn’t something that should be hidden or shrugged off. It’s only when people realize this that they can begin to deal with the problem and, hopefully, encourage others to do the same.


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