Help fund behavioral health treatment
September is Recovery Month, and on Sept. 19, voters in Santa Fe County, both in and outside of the city limits, get to decide whether a small increase in gross receipts taxes should pass to help fund the operations of a crisis triage center to serve the behavioral health needs of county residents.
A yes vote means increasing access to immediate assessment of behavioral health crises. County consultants Pamela Hyde and associates now are developing plans for the operations in what would be a countyowned facility. This means that individuals and families can go to a central location to get urgent help with mental health and substance care. The triage nature means that individuals will be stabilized and then referred out for further treatment.
Public funding means taxpayer money will be spent. This process requires that an open, transparent and community-based planning approach. That way, the public will help determine what types of behavioral health services are most essential to dealing with the ubiquitous problems affecting our families.
If you have lost a loved one due to a behavioral condition, the few cents that we all would pay pales in comparison to the cost of losing a family member and loved ones, or the agony of not getting care and support.
We hope that open public hearings are undertaken to involve families and consumers more effectively so that culturally appropriate, quality care is available to stop the revolving door. Local problems need local solutions, but the planning process, which is funded by public money, requires complete disclosure, review, input and engagement so that we honor the input of our citizens and not limit and keep sequestered the process at the expense of our family members struggling with these disabling conditions.
Fred Sandoval is a resident of Cochiti Lake. Miguel Chavez is a resident of Santa Fe.