Provide free and adequate mental health care to students in rural Colorado
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According to the Mesa County Health Department Healthy Mesa County 2012-2017 Report, " Mesa County (34.4 per 100,000) is significantly worse than Colorado (17.4 percent) for the rate of suicide, and is nearly three times the rate for the Nation." (Page 37).
In the 2016-2017 school year alone, 5 students have committed suicide in the school district I graduated from. Mesa County, CO has a suicide rate 3 times that of the national average. It is a rural community with a massive lack of mental health care services and harmful stigmatization of mental illness. Rather than using licensed mental health care professionals, the school district is asking their teachers to provide services (as I know since my mom is a teacher in the district). Therefore, I am petitioning Mesa County Valley School District 51 and the Colorado Department of Education to raise awareness about the epidemic in Mesa County and to allocate resources or find funding to provide free and adequate mental health care to their students. Obviously their current method of a link to the Colorado Crisis Services website on their website is not sufficient.
I'm very passionate about this and want to help advocate for mental health care as a field and also as normal and okay part of life. People are afraid to seek out services in Grand Junction, or to tell others of their problems, for fear of social ostracism. And this I know from my own personal experience.
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