HC-19-1 Support for Behavioral Health Services in Rural Areas

WHEREAS A shortage of Mental Health Providers and Services in Rural Areas (Western Colorado) frequently leaves impacted citizens, families, law enforcement, family counseling and health care providers struggling for solutions; as many medical issues are results of underlying Behavioral Health issues, and;

WHEREAS Behavioral health is the scientific study of the emotions, behaviors, and biology relating to a person’s mental well-being, their ability to function in everyday life, and their concept of self, including activities related to addressing substance use/abuse issues; and

WHEREAS About 30% of Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) inmates are there on Drug Charges and substance abuse related issues, and;

WHEREAS An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; efforts supporting Proactive Behavioral Health Practices in order to prevent more serious Mental Health issues can be very effective, and;

WHEREAS Suicide rates throughout the Western Slope are outpacing the increasing rates in other areas. Suicides affect most demographics and are especially alarming within Veterans and Youth, and;

WHEREAS There is a significant “Stigma” associated with Mental Health issues. Thus, resulting in patients avoiding simpler services that could effectively address their situation in earlier stages, and;

WHEREAS The use and effects of overuse of opioids in our society is a critical Health Care Issue, and;

WHEREAS often those suffering from behavioral health issues are incarcerated in local jails that are not prepared to treat the individual’s issue and are released into the community with no treatment; and

WHEREAS As with so many community support systems, the economic model to provide services does not work well in rural areas; which creates a situation where those needing such services must either pay an exorbitant price or travel to urban areas to receive such services at a reasonable price;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That Club 20 supports efforts to enhance, expand, and fund “EFFECTIVE” Behavioral Health Programs and Mental Health Services throughout the Western Slope (and other rural areas) with an emphasis on integrative (including telehealth), preventative, and early detection services.


Adopted 9/21/19

Resolution in PDF Format