Letter: Vote for mental health ballot issue this November

Editor:

I encourage you to support a critical ballot issue this fall that will allow Larimer County to build its own treatment facility for substance abuse and mental health disorders. It’s a project that has been needed for many years.

As a child 50 years ago, I watched my mother struggle with the serious mental health issues of two of her brothers. There were not enough treatment options.

In more recent years, a member of our family suffered from depression and alcoholism, and we watched as he was carted off to Greeley to a detox facility — even now the only detox facility available to our citizens. Then he was sent home, instead of receiving the treatment he needed.

So, we are still dealing with the same issue: not enough treatment options for those struggling with mental health disorders or substance abuse. And I’m pretty sure that our family is not the only one in Larimer County to face these kinds of challenges.

Sadly, many people with mental health or substance abuse issues end up in our county jail because there are no other facilities available. That’s a major cause of overcrowding at our jail.

As proposed, the new Larimer County facility would provide short-term intensive residential treatment for mental health and substance abuse, an acute-treatment unit, and a detox wing. It would accommodate an estimated 4,700 people each year.

What would it cost? The proposed sales tax to fund this facility would add 25 cents to each $100 purchase.

Please vote for this important measure in November.

Cherry Sokoloski
Fort Collins

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