Voter Education and the Behavioral Health Center

At their January 11 meeting, the LWVLC Health Care Team hosted Laurie Stolen, Larimer County Behavioral Health Project Director, for a discussion concerning behavioral health in Larimer County and on-going efforts to educate voters about the ballot measure planned for November 2018.

Following are a few key points from the discussion:

  • Educational focus is “Mental Health Matters” and how lack of treatment options affects everyone, whether living in a city or in a rural area.
  • 2016 ballot measure proposal has been revised for 2018 to include funding for outside-of-facility services (through partnerships with the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Alliance.) Revisions include early identification and intervention with children, suicide prevention, and “tele” psychotherapy sessions for remote access to care without the need for extensive travel.
  • Need to dispel the myth of “build it, and they will come”. Those who need treatment have been shown to seek help near home. They will not flock to our county from elsewhere.
  • Potential site for facility has been identified close to the Loveland/Fort Collins boundary line at the intersection of South Taft Hill and Trilby on 40 acres of county-owned land. Master plan is due to be published by end of January or February (facility plus menu of services provided).
  • Reasons for failure to pass in 2016?
    • Lack of understanding by voters.
    • Too many issues and candidates to consider.
    • Strong opposition to other health-related issues on the ballot.
    • Ballot language was not helpful – improved language for 2018 is a certainty.
    • Message of integration of health care needs to be stressed: no separation among physical/mental/addictions.

How We Can Help

Write to County Commissioners (particularly Tom Donnelly) and Lew Gaiter and Steve Johnson, about the importance of referring this issue to the November 2018 ballot.

Health Care Team Meeting

The health care team meets on the second Thursday of each month at 11:30 am. Contact the team for more information!

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