Eagle County Investing In Mental Health Resources

Eagle—After a record year for suicides in Eagle County, officials have decided to invest more money to expand mental health resources.  The Eagle County Board of Commissioners committed a half million dollars based on recommendations from the county’s new Mental Health Advisory Committee.  Mental health providers in the county say calls for service have gone up exponentially but unfortunately, troubled people often have to wait for weeks for appointment with a crisis counselor.  Last year Eagle County voters approved new 5 percent sales and excise taxes on each recreational weed sale to establish the Mental Health Fund.  Eventually, the taxes will put another 1.2 million dollars a year in the county coffers to strengthen the local mental health system.  However, under the current rate of 2 and a half percent, collections this year will end up around 500 thousand dollars.   Eagle County Paramedic Services kicked in some start up funds with a 100 thousand dollar contribution.  As the fund grows,  the ultimate goal will be to establish a Total Health Alliance advisory committee comprised of representatives from three dozen agencies and community advocates.