Next step for Mind Springs?

This is in response to the most recent Mind Springs article (“State hid findings of ‘life-threatening’ errors at Mind Springs Health,” March 20, The Aspen Times). There is fabulous book titled “No One Cares About Crazy People” by Ron Power, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times, about our nation’s mental health care system that chronicles his family’s personal journey.

When Sharon Raggio resigned, I wrote a letter to the editor that was not published. It was in response to Steve Child’s comment in the article regarding the county being happy about the state of care given by Mind Springs. Also, included were similar comments by Garfield County commissioners.

I am a longtime mental health advocate in the valley. There are quite a few of us who have real experience with Mind Springs and are typically valued members of the community, as we are public school teachers, nonprofit officers, hospital workers, and other esteemed professionals. Many of us gave public and private outcry when the decision was made to go with Mind Springs as an exclusive provider for Pitkin County. Our words fell on deaf ears as our employers made the unilateral decision to take the most expedient route to getting those who suffer in our community dealt with. I say “dealt with” as opposed to “cared for.” “Improved response times” and other numerical data was given as proof of how well things were working. Many of us knew what was going on within Mind Springs from family members, friends and colleagues and were neither asked or listened to when we expressed our concern.

It is both affirming and heartbreaking to see this all finally come to light. The question for Aspen Valley Hospital, Pitkin County, Aspen School District and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and others now is: What are you going to do about it?

Wynee Coleman