by: Eric M. Kussin

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04 December 2018

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Attacking Mental Health Reform At The Local Level

This a very large holy friggin’ YES!
 
Buried amongst the election topics of how many House & Senate seats may turn over, & blue vs red waves, was this important story.
 
Denver voters, by almost a 2:1 ratio (which is a huge vote of confidence as to where residents think more funds are needed), passed a law approving a .25% tax (that’s $.25 cents on every $100 spent to fund a large healthcare nonprofit (estimates are $45 Million) that will disperse the monies to other programmatic nonprofits & organizations that can provide essential services needed. Why’s it a big story?
 
It’s no secret that our Federal Govt (going on way too many years now, at times when each of the two parties were in charge of executive & legislative branches) has severely underfunded mental health. Despite the fact that mental health affects literally everyone on this earth (as you’ll read is the sentiment of the House Rep in the quote below), & suicides & opioids usages are as high as they are, the federal funding as a percentage of overall health funding is abysmal.
 
Good on the folks in Denver for agreeing to a tax to find alternative to fund this life or death issue, when the federal funds are clearly not there. Candidly I don’t know how many other local governments are doing the same, or to the same level, but let’s hope there are many more out there who will follow suit.
 
Nonprofits & programs with solutions need revenues to exist & to meet the needs out there. This is a huge step in providing them those funds & getting ppl the help they desperately need. From the local House Rep, irrespective of any party affiliation, who should be applauded for these words & actions:
 
“Mental health is extremely underfunded here in Denver, in Colorado and, frankly, nationwide,” said Herod. “Everybody knows someone who is affected, and everyone says we have to do better. This is not about ‘them’ anymore. It’s about us.”

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