Craig Mental Health allocated cut of statewide health care grant

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After five years of providing millions of dollars to health care providers in 26 Colorado counties, the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program has wrapped up its final year and awarded its final grants, including one to Moffat County.

Craig Mental Health and Steamboat Mental Health were awarded grants of more than $45,000 to put toward infrastructure improvements.

Tom Gangel, regional director of Colorado West Regional Mental Health, Inc., said the money will provide new carpet, paint and refurbished group and waiting rooms for the two facilities.

“It’s a big deal, actually,” Gangel said. “It’s going to be wonderful for our side to get this stuff done. We’ll get to replace desks and chairs that are over 20 years old.”

Gangel also said the grant will free up money to put toward providing better care and services.

With this year’s grants ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, Gangel said he believes both facilities were awarded grants on the higher end of the spectrum because of their activity in the mental health community and the number of people served.

“We have a lot of services, we (Craig Mental Health) serve over 650 Craig residents a year in the mental health field,” Gangel said. “They (the grant council) have been pleased with our work.”

This is the second grant Craig Mental Health has received, with the first being around $50,000 two years ago. Since 2008, when the UnitedHealth Group committed to donating $7.5 million to rural health care providers in Colorado, the grant council has been overseeing those funds and doling them out to facilities that help underserved demographics.

“Our vision is to improve healthcare services available in rural communities to ensure that all rural Coloradans have access to comprehensive, affordable, high-quality healthcare,” wrote Shelly Collings, the Colorado Rural Health Care grants manager, in an email.

With mental health on the forefront of many Coloradans’ minds in light of last week’s movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado West Regional Mental Health also released a statement on how to handle the aftermath. “Unspeakable tragedy again blankets us and many will not know how to deal with their feelings in the aftermath,” the statement reads. “… Expert in behavioral trauma and health, Colorado West is here to help should you or your loved ones of any age need support navigating these tragic times.”

For more information on Colorado West Regional Mental Health, or to make an appointment at one of the locations, call 970-987-1112.

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