Even though the $500 million needed to fund mental health care is common sense, there are a lot of people in Colorado who haven’t heard about it.
“At the moment, we really only have one triage system for mental health,” said Dr. Louis Cox, who’s now working to change that.
“Most of the times I go to the emergency room I will see people who were coming in with a set of symptoms of mental illness and their problem had to be addressed long before they ever got here,” Cox said.
Right now in Colorado, there are about 60,000 people with a mental illness and no one to take care of them. There’s only one person in charge of triage, and that person is just trying to make the best decisions she can and manage the patient through the day. Dr. Cox sees the system as broken, and he wants to fix it.
The need for someone to coordinate and provide medical and mental health treatment is becoming more acute now that one out of four Coloradans will have a mental illness during their lifetimes.
The problem in Colorado is that there are no paid jobs for mental health workers and around three times as many people work at a temp agency as there are people on full-time involuntary leave from work because of a mental illness. If we want Colorado to raise its rate of mental health workforce to 200% above its current rate by 2025, we have to solve those problems.
Please join us in launching a Change.org petition today to raise the mental health worker salary from the current $13 an hour to $20 an hour (The current living wage in Colorado is only $13.56 per hour).
If you want to join the fight to fix the current system and have your state government support it, sign the petition and tell all of your friends to do the same!
Sign the petition here.