I am excited to share a project that city council, city staff and a few community members are working on. The draft title is Edgewater’s Mental Health Plan, and the statement below gives a sense of what we seek to accomplish. This statement was written for a needs assessment and will guide us in writing the Mental Health Plan, which will include specific goals and action items to positively impact our community.
City council will share the Mental Health Plan with the community as it develops (estimated by the end of 2022) and request feedback to inform the final draft. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please reach out to me at CReid-vanas@EdgewaterCO.com or Dr. Libbi Palmer at Libbi@PalmerPsychology.com. Specifically, we are seeking someone that has lived experience with mental health and is interested in advocacy work to ensure that diverse voices are represented in Edgewater’s Mental Health Plan.
The current work group includes City Council Member Lilly Steirer, Dr. Libbi Palmer from Palmer and Associates, community member Kevin Meyer, Police Chief Eric Sonstegard, City Manager Dan Maples and me, Mayor Pro Tem Cory Reid-Vanas.
Edgewater City Council believes that our community will benefit from an intentional effort to develop a holistic and strategic plan related to mental health. Our desire to increase and improve mental health resources within our community is in direct response to social injustices that have occurred locally and nationally, the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase of suicide and domestic violence, a collective prioritization of mental health, and acknowledging that to thrive individually and as a community, we all need mental health resources.
Edgewater’s needs in the realm of mental health exist in diverse and varied ways. Specifically, city council would like to see mental health resources bolstered at the organizational and community levels. For example, organizationally, Edgewater has committed to supporting our police department’s efforts to provide community safety services with a mental health lens that addresses complex situations with a sensitivity towards mental health. In addition, providing trauma-informed support for police officers, victims and community members affected by a crime or tragedy is one of our priorities. At a broader community level, city staff is being trained in understanding mental health to ensure that city services consider our community’s mental health needs, whether it is through city sponsored events, city communication, or through our mobility and sustainability initiatives. Opportunities to provide mental health specific resources will be welcomed as we embark on developing a road map that supports our community’s unique needs.
While the working title of the plan highlights mental health, there will be a broader effort to include crisis response and wellness. Thank you for taking some time to read about this work, and again, if you are interested in participating or learning more, please reach out and we will make sure to stay connected with you.
Contact Edgewater Mayor Pro Tem Cory Reid-Vanas at CReid-vanas@EdgewaterCO.com or 720-252-0345.