Local Center Provides Assistance in Mental Health
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- This summer's deadly shooting spree at an Aurora movie theater has prompted governor Hickenlooper to propose additional mental health assistance.
Though health officials say additional support is always beneficial, Colorado West Mental Health Center is already helping those in need.
“Therapy does change lives. In fact, it saves lives,” said Tish Starbuck, vice president of Colorado West Mental Health Center.
According to officials, Colorado has less access to psychiatric inpatient care than any other state in the country.
This could lead to a serious problem since health experts say the difference between success and continued illness can come down to premeditated treatments.
“Currently, we are the only inpatient facility on the western side of the state,” said Starbuck. “Colorado West helps nearly 14,000 people a year.”
“Behavioral health is such an important component to overall health to people in general,” said Helen Chrena, nurse practitioner at Colorado West.
Chrena says that in any area, there are a number of folks struggling with mental issues. But getting treatment, no matter what age, is the best solution.
“If we can access and identify things early on, and treat them appropriately with medication and/or therapy, they have a better chance of leading life with a better quality,” said Chrena.
The center also offers counseling right over the phone, free of charge, through their crisis line at 888-207-4004.
“They will be immediately connected to a trained metal health specialist,” said Starbuck. “We have talked people through crisis and we have sent out therapists to do face-to-face and safety planning with people who may be at risk of doing harm to themselves or others.”
Harm that officials say could be prevented through encouraging support and decreasing any stigma that goes along with mental health issues.
Due to the large amount of people entering and completing treatment, Colorado West was recently recognized by the state for their successful services.