Mind Springs Health

Mind Springs Health

If you’re a person suffering from a mental health crisis in Colorado, you could end up in jail, even if you aren’t charged with a crime. There are only five other states where this is legal. It won’t be legal in Colorado for much longer.

Mind Springs Health

West Springs Hospital, in Grand Junction, is the only psychiatric hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City. It has 32 beds and wants 64.

Law enforcement agencies and elected officials up and down the valley are looking at alternative ways to combat mental illness issues that are becoming public safety concerns. Joining News Director Carolyn Sackariason on Valley Roundup this morning are Randy Essex, editor and publisher of the Glenwood Post Independent, Madeleine Osberger, contributing editor for the Aspen Daily News, and Roger Marolt and Andy Stone, both columnists for the Aspen Times.

You can hear more of the conversation on Valley Roundup at 3:30 p.m. today on Aspen Public Radio.

 

Barbara Platts/Aspen Public Radio

Welcome to a Valley Roundup. I’m Carolyn Sackariason.

As Aspen police officers increasingly respond to calls related to drugs and alcohol, homelessness and other mental health related issues, a new kind of policing has emerged. Elected officials recently signed off on a one hundred thousand dollar experiment to see if dedicating one highly trained officer helps in the field. Carolyn Sackariason spoke with Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor about the new — and unprecedented — position he’s creating.  

freedomaddiction

  Glenwood Springs and Garfield County could see a new detox center. But it all depends on finding a place to put it. There hasn’t been one for the last few years, and that’s been hard for people struggling with substance abuse.

pitkincounty.com

The situation is dismal in Colorado for mentally ill people who need to be hospitalized. As reported this week, a new analysis from the Colorado Department of Human Services shows the state has a significant shortage of hospital beds for this group. In Aspen, some end up in the jail and are taken to the nearest hospital - in Grand Junction - when a bed opens. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Elise Thatcher

A suicide prevention organization is unveiling a new campaign tonight. The Hope Center, now based in Basalt, is also hosting an expert on healing communities.  Michelle Muething is Executive Director of the small nonprofit, which offers a hotline and counseling for people with suicidal thoughts. Muething says the new effort is called the "Erase the Stigma" campaign, and it’s based on feedback gathered since last spring.