Support for Mental Health, Opioid Addiction
Mental Health Discussion on Monday
On Monday, April 29, Solvista Health’s CEO, Brian Turner will be the guest speaker at the National Association Mental Illness (NAMI) High Country’s Leadville Education Night from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Lake County Public Library. Turner will discuss how major shifts in policy, funding, and technology are impacting the delivery of mental health and substance use treatment services in Colorado.
Most importantly, Turner will be seeking feedback and a productive conversation to help Leadville Solvista best support local needs.
Solvista Health provides integrated mental health, substance use and primary care across seven locations for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Prior to this role, Turner served as Deputy Director for the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, the statewide Support for Mental Illness Caregivers in Leadville. Solvista is located at 714 Front Street in Leadville, it can be seen from Highway 24 south. 719-486-0985.
About NAMI High Country Colorado
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI High Country Colorado is the local affiliate for Summit and Lake Counties. NAMI High Country Colorado’s dedicated volunteers, members, and leaders work to raise awareness and provide essential education, advocacy, and support for families and individuals in our community living with mental illness.
Opioid Treatment Available at RMFP
“It’s been pretty clear to me over the past year, that we, as well as the rest of the nation, have an opioid use disorder problem in Lake County,” stated Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger, owner and physician with Rocky Mountain Family Practice (RMFP). That discovery has led to the establishment of the first opioid use disorder treatment center in Leadville.
Beginning May 1, the new clinic will involve evaluating the individual’s need for medications, monitoring their medication, and introducing buprenorphine/suboxone, a FDA-approved medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder. This drug prevents people from going through withdrawal, without the intoxication. The treatment allows people who have a dependence on certain opioids, like heroin, to come in for an evaluation, be taken off their substance and be transitioned into this other medication.
“This program is the one thing that’s been missing,” explained Dr. Lisa as she is familiarly known in Leadville Today. “We have excellent mental health services, good emergency services, and good primary care.”
The RMFP team has undergone the formal training for this nationally-recognized program and is prepared to meet the community needs. In addition, they are partnering with Solvista Health for mental health services, as well as the St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Room staff.
“The emergency room is equipped with many lifesaving drugs, one of which can immediately reverse the effects of the narcotic, protect the airway and prevent the patient from dying,” expressed Dr. Lisa, reiterating that all residents can have confidence in local emergency services. There should be no hesitancy for anyone in an emergency situation involving heroin or any other opioid substance, to not immediately seek help at the local emergency room at St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville.
“The plan is to make the program as welcoming as we can,” said Dr. Zwerdlinger explaining that most patients would schedule an intake appointment like everybody else. At this point, a patient doesn’t have to explain the reason for the doctor visit when they make the appointment, or they can. However, patients taking full advantage of the opioid use disorder treatment center have to be willing to go to mental health services, be willing to submit to urine drug screens, be actively engaged on a regular basis and adhere to the treatment protocol.
These programs have proven to be successful in other communities, allowing medical professionals to remove barriers to treatment for people with co-occurring disorders and provide them with a structured, 24-hour setting to assist in their recovery. If you or someone you love could benefit from this program it will be available at Rocky Mountain Family Practice beginning May 1, 2019. Patients may schedule an appointment by calling 719-486-0500. Rocky Mountain Family Practice is a full spectrum family practice offering everything from urgent care to primary care. RMFP is located at 735 US Highway 24 at McWethy Drive in Leadville. Call 719-486-0500.
Support NAMI With Every Step!
Lace up your walking shoes and help stomp out the stigma! The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) High Country Colorado chapter invites you to participate in the nation’s largest mental health awareness and fundraising event called NAMIWalks. NAMIWalks brings people together to fight stigma, raise funds and promote awareness of mental illness. The walk takes place Saturday, May 18, 2019, at Centennial Center Park in Centennial. This family-friendly event offers fun, fellowship and the opportunity to get involved in your community. There is no registration fee, but participants are encouraged to build teams, share stories and raise funds to support NAMI Mobile’s work to help people with mental illness live their best life.
Support Leadville NAMI Walkers!
There are some Leadville folks who will be participating in the NAMIWalks event on May 18 as part of the NAMI High Country Colorado Team. Please consider supporting their efforts with an online donation. Most of the walkers have set very humble goals and are just within reach of their final numbers.
One of the members on the local team is Kim Rodriguez. Many of you living in Leadville Today knew her son Troy, some of you went to school with him at Lake County High School. It’s been 10 years since Leadville lost Troy. Please consider giving a donation ~ of any amount ~ in his honor as his mom Kim joins the NAMIWalks Team on May 18 in Centennial. Here is Kim’s story, in her own words.
I am inviting you to walk with me this year. I walk to honor my friends and family members who have committed suicide and those who deal with a mental illness diagnosed or undiagnosed. When my son decided to take his life in 2009 at the age of 17, we as with many families did not understand what was going on and who to go for to get help had we only known. We had very little time and time was crucial in trying to save him. I will spend my life supporting mental health awareness and education and with NAMI this is possible.
Did you know that :
NAMI provides support, education, and advocacy to hundreds of thousands of families, individuals, educators, mental health service providers, and law enforcement professionals each year. NAMIWalks helps us continue to provide these programs at no cost to the communities of Lake and Summit Counties.
Donating to NAMI High Country through my page is easy, fast and secure. Your donation will make a difference and help people and families affected by mental illness right here in our region. I hope that you will walk me and/ or help me reach my fundraising goal of $500.