Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Vote YES For Mental Health - Ballot Issue 1A

Doris Kirchner

On the front lines where our police officers, paramedics, nurses and physicians see mental illness and substance abuse on full display, it is scary and heartbreaking. These issues affect every age and income level in Eagle County. Our role as a community is not to judge, but to help.

Mental illness and substance abuse are community epidemics that can only be solved by working together. Vail Health Hospital has seen a staggering 243% increase in detox patients from 210 encounters in 2014 to 511 in 2016. Our suicide rates in Eagle County are double the state average. We must come together to help our own.

Currently, there is no reliable funding mechanism to adequately address our growing behavioral health issues. For the first time, we have the opportunity to enact a very real solution towards improving mental health resources in Eagle County. By taxing recreational marijuana, our community can establish $1.2 million in designated annual funding to help solve mental illness and substance abuse issues locally. These funds will not be used to build facilities, but to operate mental health walk-in clinics, respite care, crisis stabilization and social detox units through knowledgeable mental health experts. 

We cannot rely on anyone outside this community to come to the rescue – we need to take care of our own. Please join me in voting YES for mental health on Eagle County Ballot 1A.

Doris Kirchner
Vail Health President & CEO