Efforts continue to raise mental health awareness, enhance services

Donated windows, artists needed for upcoming mental health fundraiser
February 3rd, 2016

UCHealth’s Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center is looking for donated items and volunteer artists for its upcoming fundraiser.

On June 3, the center is hosting “Windows for Wellness,” an event that aims to raise funds for additional community services such as an outdoor fenced area for inpatients and the creation of an art/music therapy program.
This piece of art, which sits on the desk at a local’s home, showcases old photos from a farmstead from which the window frame came. Mountain Crest Behavioral Health staff is seeking donated window frames or screens to turn into art, and/or artists willing to submit similar art pieces to be auctioned off at the center’s upcoming fundraiser.
“Mental health is never a money-making department but it is a highly needed service,” said Sara Tcheshie of Mountain Crest.

The center is seeking donated window frames (with or without glass) or screens that can be turned into art. Donations are needed by Feb. 29. Artists also can donate their time to create a piece that can then be donated to the fundraising event. Projects must be complete by June 1. Details of the June 3 event will be released at a later date.

In May 2015, the center successfully raised $6,000 for its proposed projects through a silent auction of decorative musical instruments and community donations. All donations are tax deductible.

While Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, it ranks in the bottom half in per-capita state and federal spending on mental health, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Part of it is a cultural thing. We are a cowboy state where people don’t seek mental health care,” said Monica Smith, UCHealth’s director of behavioral health in northern Colorado. “The other part is that it’s a poorly funded program.”

In 2015, Mountain Crest had more than 13,300 patient visits to its center and 1,524 inpatients.

“We are looking for this event to bring awareness to mental health services, as well as help strengthen those services we can provide to the community,” Tcheshie said.

In Larimer County, one person dies by suicide every four to five days. And in 2014, drugs, alcohol or both were present in 73 percent of people who died by suicide, according to Mountain Crest’s statistics.

People interested in donating can contact Sara Tcheshie by calling 970.207.4801 or emailing sara.tcheshie@uchealth.org. Items also can be dropped off at Mountain Crest, 4601 Corbett Drive, Fort Collins.

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.