Letters, May 10
Commissioners need to be proactive
Our Jackson County commissioners have sent a proclamation to Salem to seek an end to state-imposed COVID-19 restrictions. This reactive stance demonstrates lack of leadership and imagination.
The restrictions are put in place because we are in a public health emergency. They are designed to save the lives of Oregonians and to protect our workers in restaurants and stores. I realize that restrictions are a hardship, but they’re temporary and lifesaving.
Our commissioners would better serve their constituents by using their position and time to encourage and support the use of face masks and promote vaccinations. Together, these two precautions would end the high risk of infection in our county and the restrictions. The federal and state governments are providing free, accessible and simple solutions to this crisis and all that our commissioners can think to do is protest these benefits.
CAHOOTS needed here
The CAHOOTS program (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets) was established in Eugene 31 years ago. This mobile crisis team is gaining attention in Oregon and nationwide for their success in providing access to people in crisis situations. It is only part of a much-needed solution.
Guidelines for behavioral health crisis care offered by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services identify three basic needs for crisis care, all of which CAHOOTS has:
1. Well-trained staff to contact at any hour.
2. Mobile crisis team dispatched at any time necessary.
3. A crisis receiving and stabilization center available to every individual requiring immediate help.
A crisis services center would provide somewhere to go. People in crisis could walk in o, be brought in by family or law enforcement, with short wait times.
These concepts are being utilized across the country, such as in Tucson, Arizona, and Georgia. Those assisted say their experiences were safe and beneficial. Large savings to the budget have been recorded.
In Bend, a crisis stabilization center was funded and opened recently with favorable results.
Due to the many positive outcomes resulting from such programs, there is an obvious need for them in Jackson County.