Mesa County officials hope to learn more about the mental health needs across the community with a survey released today. The mental health community assessment will look to answer questions about whether Mesa County residents feel they have the access they need to the mental health services available.
To take the survey, visit https://bit.ly/37uhfD4.
“This was something that came up on the campaign trail,” Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland explained. “At one of the candidate forums I was very surprised to hear so many questions relating to mental health.”
She said she heard several questions regarding the access and availability to resources for substance abuse, suicide prevention and other mental health concerns from several community members.
“We pulled together a team of a dozen people from the courts, law enforcement, school district and health department and started meeting a couple of months ago to figure out what the best way to do this was and we decided on a survey,” Rowland said. “It makes sense for us to get ahead of this.”
The survey hopes to provide an in-depth look at what mental health services are available in Mesa County and to identify any strengths, weaknesses, gaps and other opportunities to improve with the goal of ensuring that everyone in the county has access to the services they need.
The mental health community assessment will include several parts. First, Mesa County hopes to hear from a broad audience through local media, social media and other partners.
Rowland said she hoped to get anywhere from 500 to over 1,000 responses from the community.
On March 7, the survey will close and analysis begins. Health officials hope to identify trends and any common themes that emerge from the survey.
Next, the county will host a series of focus groups next month to provide more of an in-depth look at the challenges in the system. In April, a comprehensive roundtable discussion is planned between mental health service consumers and providers that will review all the data collected.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Slope program Director Leslie Kent said her hope is to see the community work as a team and not as individual silos through this process.
“The biggest thing that I hope that comes out of this survey is that the community comes together in collaboration in helping us to get the word out that we are here,” she said.
NAMI Western Slope provides education, support and public awareness for individuals and families affected by mental illness.
They are one of several community partners involved with the assessment.
“We’re really excited for this survey and hope the public pays attention to it. If people don’t do it, it’s not going to help and I hope the community takes advantage of the opportunity,” Kent said.