Summit Daily letters: Dispelling the ‘barriers to treatment’ myth around mental health | SummitDaily.com

Summit Daily letters: Dispelling the ‘barriers to treatment’ myth around mental health

Calling all Summit County family members

Two weeks before my sunny 20-year-old cousin completed suicide, she recognized that she needed help. But, like so many others, had the idea that treatment for mental health was costly and difficult to start. As a college student-athlete attempting to balance a demanding schedule, it's easy to understand that she saw barriers to treatment that felt too overwhelming to act upon.

Many people have felt the same way here in Summit County. With suicide rates three times the national average, our community has made it a priority to let everyone — especially young people like my cousin — know that hope and help are accessible.

It takes all of us as the collective Summit County family to dispel the "barriers to treatment" myth by educating our family, friends and neighbors on the local resources available.

The Building Hope initiative has done a fantastic job of building awareness of all types of resources, from monthly supportive events to the range of local providers.

We at Mind Springs Health are honored to be Summit County's community mental health center and proud to provide ease of access and mental health care to all in the county.

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There are a lot of questions about community mental health care: Is it for me? Can I afford it? Can I get an appointment to see a psychiatrist without having to wait months? Does it work?

Here in Summit County we are fortunate to say the answers are yes, yes, yes and yes.

Last fiscal year, Mind Springs Health in Frisco provided mental health and addiction care to 1,361 community members. Our latest HealthStream Summit County survey revealed that only 7 percent of people say they were not helped by treatment. That's a success metric to be proud of and one we are working to improve until it reaches 0 percent.

Starting treatment is easy and each Monday we hold open access hours so that anyone interested in treatment can walk in with no appointment necessary. Therapy appointments usually start within 10 days and if it's determined you need an appointment with one of our psychiatrists it will likely happen within 3 weeks.

Please call our office at 970-668-3478 or visit our website at MindSpringsHealth.org if you have questions. Help is available 24/7/365 by calling our crisis hotline 1-888-207-4004 or texting 'TALK' to 38255.

Lastly, don't let money be a barrier to your mental health. As the community mental health center we serve all community members, regardless of financial status. We accept most private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, and offer sliding fees scaled to individual circumstance.

When we lose someone dear to us, it's natural to obsess over the "what-ifs." What if my cousin had visited a mental health professional? What if we, the Summit County Family, work to ensure all our community members know mental health care is accessible and affordable?

It's too late for the former but not for the latter. So, will you join me?

Tiffany Schooley

Mind Springs Health

Praise for grooming the rec path

Big fat kudos to the folks at Summit County Ggovernment, the United States Forest Service and the towns of Frisco and Breckenridge who collaborated to come up with a great plan. Grooming our recreation path adds an nice option to the list of ways to play outdoors in the county. Yes, there are other places to get out and recreate, but for a quick work-out, it sure is nice to jump on the path for a ski. Thanks for the efforts of all.

Molly Lee

Breckenridge

Republican tax cuts

Even with good economic news and tax cuts, you need to save more for retirement. Wall Street Journal headline: "Soaring stock prices and improving job prospects send Americans off on a spending splurge, cutting into what they sock away for retirement and rainy days"

U.S. government plans to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, 84 percent jump from fiscal year 2017. The highest amount of borrowing in 6 years. Trump and GOP's first full year in charge of the budget. First time borrowing has jumped this much, as a share of GDP, in a non-recession time since Reagan's borrowing because of Cold War buildup. Trump's Treasury forecasts borrowing over $1 trillion in 2019 and over $1.1 trillion in 2020. Figures account for 0.8 percent economic growth generated by tax cuts over 10 years including cuts to important programs. Economic growth only covers one-third the increased debt cost.

Trump inherited a growing economy, average incomes raising after inflation, GDP growth close to 3 percent, stock market steadily increasing for 7 years, unemployment at 4.8 percent (down from 7.8 percent in 2008 when Obama inherited the Great Recession and declining employment), and prosperous corporations, many moving back to U.S. due to increased incomes and shipping costs overseas.

Wall Street's Goldman Sachs warned Feb. 1, "U.S. debt is on track to hit unsustainable levels in near future. America's debt is already at highest level since 1950 as a fraction of the economy, debt-to-GDP. This GOP bill makes it higher." Almost every economist said, White House estimates wrong. In 1950 top marginal rate on richest 1 percent increased from 82 percent to 91 percent to reduce U.S. debt accrued from WWII and to fund infrastructure.

Republicans debt reduction plan is cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (possibly privatizing all 3), education, medical research and other social programs; things that Made America Great.

Cheryl Moskal

Denver

Entering the season of Lent

The beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.

Abstaining from eating animals is current as evangelical leader Franklin Graham, yet traditional as the Bible (Genesis 1:29). Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army pioneers William & Catherine Booth, Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen G. White followed this higher call.

Meat-free diets aren't just about Christian devotion. Medical studies link consuming animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A UN report named meat production as largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations document farm animals caged, crowded, mutilated, beaten.

Supermarkets offer plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, ice creams, vegetables, fruits and grains. Entering "vegetarian" or "vegan" in your search engine provides lots of meat replacement products, recipes and transition tips.

Schuller Newcomb

Frisco

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