We need fund­ing for youth men­tal health too

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Alexis Ball, MD,

Den­ver re­cently voted to in­crease a sales tax for men­tal health ini­tia­tives. The over­whelm­ing sup­port of this bal­lot ini­tia­tive is a marker of how many lives are af­fected by men­tal health. I don’t need to con­vince you of that. How­ever, when think­ing about the al­lo­ca­tion of this fund­ing, I ask that we not for­get about Col­orado’s youth.

As a pe­di­a­tri­cian, ev­ery day I see the im­pact of men­tal health on our chil­dren, whether it is the in­ten­tional over­dose in the emer­gency depart­ment or the teen that bat­tles with sui­ci­dal thoughts and de­pres­sion in the clinic. I am not alone in see­ing this. Col­orado teen sui­cide rate is al­most twice the na­tional av­er­age. With this in­crease in fund­ing, we have the op­por­tu­nity to not only change the tra­jec­tory of this statis­tic but more im­por­tantly save young lives in our com­mu­nity.

Let us show that Den­ver cares about our youth.

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