Northwest Colorado communities to gain additional mental health resources | CraigDailyPress.com

Northwest Colorado communities to gain additional mental health resources

Participants at the annual Mental Health in Moffat County breakfast learned Wednesday morning of new mental health resources coming to Northwest Colorado.

The meeting was held by Mind Springs Health to update partner agencies on mental health work in Moffat County.

It began with news from President and CEO Sharon Raggio that ground has been broken on a new 48-bed psychiatric hospital at their West Springs Hospital in Glenwood Springs.

Once complete, the project, estimated to cost nearly $18 million, will double the space available on the Western Slope for people who need in-patient treatment. It will also include dedicated space for the treatment of adolescents.

"We are starting to move the dirt on your new psychiatric hospital," Raggio said.

About 75 percent of the capitol needed for the development has been raised. Next month Mind Springs will begin a public campaign to raise the final 25 percent of funds (between $4 to $5 million) to meet their fundraising goals, Raggio said. The project should be completed in late 2018 or early 2019.

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In another new development, Mind Springs and West Slope Casa have secured new funding from the marijuana tax fund to support mental health transport to remove patients from jails and hospital in Craig and Steamboat to mental health facilities.

Transport is for psychiatric services only and will not help with those who need to leave the community for detox, Riggio said.

To address substance abuse issues in the county, more addictions counselors are needed, said Mind Springs Health Craig Program Director Craig Thornhill. He went on to describe the 12 hours of programing at the jail throughout the summer that they were able to provide as a result of funding from outside of the community.

He is also addressing the lack of certified counselors by "growing them internally." Members of his staff are going through the certification process so that by 2019, 100 percent will be certified addictions counselors.

Many of the people who attended the breakfast noted that the community seemed to be headed in the right direction.

"People are quicker to respond, to listen, to address a problem," said Advocates Crime Victim Services Coordinator and Advocate Dan Bingham.

Raggio gave credit for the positive changes she has seen since 2008 to community partners and their leadership in being "Stigma Busters."

"All of us have responsibility in making our communities healthy," Raggio said.

If you, or someone you know, needs help:

• 24/7 Mind Springs Health Local Crisis Hotline 1-888-207-4004

• 24/7 Colorado Crisis Services Statewide Hotline 1-844-493-TALK (8255)

• 24/7 Text Line, Text TALK to 3825524 hour Crisis line 1-888-207-4004

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.