1 in 4 RBC residents will need mental health care

RBC | Statistically, mental illness issues will hit home for all of us at some point. One in four Americans will suffer from some form of mental illness, whether it’s a bout with depression, an anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome or something else.

Many mental illnesses are effectively treatable on an outpatient basis, but sometimes, just like with physical illness, hospitalization is required. If you’re on the Western Slope of Colorado, you may find yourself waiting for a bed to open up at the only psychiatric hospital between Grand Junction and Salt Lake City, a 32-bed facility built in 2005 operated by Mind Springs Health.

Mind Springs Health is undertaking a $17.75 million capital campaign to expand the Grand Junction hospital (West Springs) from 32 to 64 beds, with a special wing dedicated to the intensive care of children and adolescents. The total cost of the facility is $34 million.

Tish Starbuck, wife of Meeker native Gene Starbuck, will be speaking to the commissioners Monday, April 23 on behalf of the hospital project, seeking support from Rio Blanco County. Garfield, Pitkin, Routt and Eagle counties have contributed $120,000.

“We’re $3.75 million away from our goal,” Starbuck said. The Roaring Fork Valley has issued a $2 million challenge grant, agreeing to match contributions up to $2 million through the end of the year.

Mental Health in Rio Blanco County in 2017

  • 19 RBC residents were admitted
  • 233 RBC residents received crisis services
  • 187 clients were served in Rangely
  • 233 clients were served in Meeker
  • 6 psychiatric beds/100,000 on the West Slope; 42/100,000 nationally
  • 10-22 people waiting for admission daily
  • Delayed treatment strains resources