Lisa Cutter (D)
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Do you support school policies and funding that increase the availability of mental health services in schools and early childhood settings?
- Yes: Access to mental health services is paramount for the success of our children and our schools have to be equipped with the resources that allow them to adequately address and provide services to those in need. Investing in the well-being of our children is in the best interest of our community and society in the long-term.
Do you support additional funding for follow-up care for individuals after a suicide attempt or overdose?
- Yes: Especially considering the high rate of suicide throughout Jefferson County, suicide prevention has to be a priority for the district. Any practical steps we can take to address suicide and save lives is a step in the right direction.
Do you support extreme risk protection orders?
- Yes: Over 50% of suicides in Colorado are committed by firearm. Red Flag laws are necessary to, not only prevent suicides by taking dangerous weapons out of the hands of someone experiencing a mental health episode, but to further protect our first responders, schools and communities from deadly encounters with people experiencing mental health problems.
Do you support strengthening laws and transparency requirements compelling insurance companies to provide coverage for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders that is equal to the coverage provided for a physical illness?
- Yes: Mental health is physical health and should be treated as such. As a society, we need to dismantle the distinctions between the two so they become part of the same conversation. The sooner we treat mental health and substance use disorders as physical health, the sooner we can provide the necessary support to folks who are at risk of inflicting harm on themselves and others.
Do you support strengthening requirements that insurance companies have enough mental health and substance use professionals to guarantee their members have a choice of provider?
- Yes: One in four people will deal with a mental health issue at some point in their lifetime. Of those people, only one in seven will receive the help they need. We need to dismantle any roadblocks that prevent people from getting help and furthermore, we need to enact policies that enable people to get help, such as strengthening requirements that insurers provide enough practitioners within mental health to meet the needs of their clients.
Do you support requirements that hospitals and other providers report information on treatment availability to help individuals, hospitals and law enforcement locate available treatment for people in crisis?
- Yes: The more resources we make available to people experiencing mental health or substance use disorders, the more likely we will prevent the next overdose, suicide, and/or mass shooting. But most importantly, having such resources will help those experiencing mental health issues live a happier and healthier life, which all Coloradans deserve.
Do you support providing state funds to expand capacity for mental health and substance use treatment in underserved areas of the state?
- Yes: We need to invest in mental health services as if people’s lives depend on them, because they do. Therefore, we cannot limit our focus to state funds. We need to be open-minded about any funding solution that increases access to mental health, whether that includes developing public/private partnerships, seeking out federal grants, or developing fund raisers to finance new projects.
Do you support additional state investments in affordable housing with supportive services for people with mental health or substance use disorders?
- Yes: Study after study has shown that permanent supportive housing and Housing First programs are cost-beneficial to society because they reduce a myriad of indirect costs, ranging from hospital bills to incarceration costs. Furthermore, clients of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, one of the state’s leading Housing First providers, report a higher quality of life, reduced substance abuse and experience higher housing retention rates. We need to invest in programs that work and supportive housing has a proven track record of benefiting everyone.