Reader: Instead of Raising Taxes, We Should Lower Cost of Mental Health ServicesEXPAND
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Reader: Instead of Raising Taxes, We Should Lower Cost of Mental Health Services

Representative Leslie Herod recently announced a new campaign that will try to get an initiative on the November ballot to fund mental-health and substance-abuse services in Denver. The tax increase would raise $45 million annually to fund existing services and innovative approaches to tackling the issues.

According to Herod, polling shows Denverites would overwhelmingly support such a measure. As mental-health services and substance-abuse programs lag in Colorado, Caring 4 Denver hopes its ballot initiative will offer solutions. Here's what readers think.

Nick says:

 More taxes? Most problems are arising from too much taxes. Want to help the poor and the struggling? Lower taxes and allow people to save and buy stuff. Maybe thatll put them in a better mental state.

And then lets legalize drugs so the whole false stigma about "illegal" drugs and the court systems insistence on substance programs won't be needed as much. I bet 75% of people in the programs dont have a real issue with drugs other than the laws against them.

Larry notes:

We where told that the MJ money was going there to help those people, what changed?

And Erik Says:

Here's a better idea.....lower the cost of mental health services.

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At the Caring 4 Denver announcement, Andrew Romanoff, who served in the state legislature from 2001 to 2009 and now leads Mental Health Colorado, said that increasing taxes would actually save money in the long term, since today people who need mental-health and substance-abuse treatment services instead land in what's readily available: emergency medical services and jails, which are costly in and of themselves.

"It's cheaper to treat mental-health issues than not," Romanoff said of the Caring 4 Denver effort.

What do you think about the ballot initiative? Comment on this story or send a note to editorial@westword.com.

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