What counties do you represent? If this is a statewide office, please put statewide.
Have you or someone you loved ever experienced a mental health and/or substance use condition?
Question #1: Colorado, like the rest of the nation, is facing a youth mental health crisis. Do you support school policies and funding that increase the availability of mental health services and supports in schools and early childhood settings?
Would you like to explain your response to question #1?
Question #2: Do you believe mental health and substance use are serious issues your constituents are experiencing that deserve legislative attention and action? Please explain.
Absolutely, in my other work/employment I work with youth and their families in the city and county of Denver, many of which are experiencing mental health and/or substance use issue and see the high need for resources and services as we have just had our last two substance use in patient facilities for youth close. There is now nothing for them.
Question #3: Extreme risk protection orders, also known as red flag laws, allow law enforcement to temporarily remove weapons from individuals at significant risk to themselves or others. Colorado has a red flag law. Do you support extreme risk protection orders?
Would you like to explain your response to question #3?
Question #4: Overdose deaths are at an all-time high nationally and in Colorado. Many believe increasing criminal penalties for people who use drugs is the answer. Do you support increased criminal penalties for people who use drugs? *
(*Please note that we are asking about personal use, not distribution)
Would you like to explain your response to question #4?
Question # 5: As a follow up question, did you support legislation in the 2022 session that drastically increased the criminal penalty for possession of any substance over 1g if that substance contains any amount of fentanyl?
Would you like to explain your response to question #5?
Question #6: Do you believe the State should invest more funding for mental health and substance use? If yes, please explain where you would want additional funding to be directed. If no, please explain why.
Yes, we need more funds for workforce, to pay folks a living wage and appropriate wage for the work they are doing as this is not easy work to provide treatment to folks with mental health and substance use needs. We need to create a pipeline of workforce starting in high school, how we can motivate people to join the field. We also need to make sure we have all levels of care available to adults and youth.
Question #7: People needing care, supports, and services for their mental health and substance use often experience discrimination as a result of their health condition. Would you support legislation that would protect people needing care, supports, and services for their mental health and substance use conditions from discriminatory practices?
Would you like to explain your response to question #7?
Question #8: For too long the state’s criminal justice system has acted as a substitute for a comprehensive mental health care system. Would you support policies that would disentangle mental health from the criminal justice system and promote the expansion of programs like Denver’s STAR program?
Would you like to explain your response to question #8?
Is there anything else you would like to share?