Priorities: community health

behaviorial health

  • Prioritize Prevention
  • Fund Current Programming
  • Increase Treatment Access

We have done a lot in Summit County. But we have a lot more to do.

With suicide back in the headlines in Summit County, I want to reiterate my long-standing commitment to treating mental health as a disease that deserves parity. Working on Summit County’s mental health crisis has been a focus of my career and, as County Commissioner, will be a top priority.

We have to continue to invest in our infrastructure including providing access to more substance use disorder treatment opportunities. We also have to do much more for our younger population to prevent long-term consequences of what is recognized today as a long-term disease.

While we have made incredible strides in Summit County via the passage of the Stronger Futures initiative and the creation of Building Hope, there is far more that needs to be done.


  • Help our youngest residents develop the resiliency and coping skills they need to handle the stress of every day life that can often compound and exacerbate mental illness
  • Focus on rebuilding community to combat the isolation new residents often feel upon arrival in Summit County.
  • Increase screening of our youth in order to connect to services before a crisis develops.

Ensure funding for current programming

As budget cuts due to COVID continue to develop at the state and federal level we must make sure we have adequate funding to support current funding.

  • We must continue to grow the SMART team program to make sure that people suffering from a mental health crisis are not treated as criminals.
  • We must continue to reduce the stigma around mental health via the efforts of Building Hope
  • We must make sure that Detox and ATU services remain available in Summit County

Increase access to treatment

Summit County has made incredible progress via the Building Hope Scholarship program and Peak Health Alliance to make sure that everyone has access to outpatient mental health treatment, but we must make sure that all our residents have access to a full spectrum of mental health services.

  • Develop substance use programming for addiction treatment
  • Continue to be a part of the conversation at the state level around access to psychiatric care and inpatient treatment. Colorado continues to lag the nation in terms of access to these two parts of the mental health system.