Mesa County mental health filings decrease in August, still up in 2013

Mental health case filings in Mesa County during August 2013 are lower than the filing numbers for the same month in 2012, but still well above tallies for August 2011.

There were 64 mental health filings between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31, 2013, according to the Mesa County Attorney’s Office. Filings reflect instances where a person who has been placed on a 72-hour mental health hold due to a law enforcement officer or medical professional deeming them a danger to themselves or others or gravely disabled by a mental illness is referred for a court case to determine if they should be committed for help at West Springs Hospital for up to 90 more days. People who are held in a jail, hospital or mental health facility for up to 72 hours at the start of the process or who choose to be committed for a longer period of time are not counted in the mental health filings total.

The year 2012 was a record-setting one for mental health filings in Mesa County, with 71 mental health filings in August 2012. That was a jump of 154 percent year-over-year, from 28 filings in August 2011.

While numbers declined year-over-year in August, year-to-date numbers are up in Mesa County. There were 443 mental health case filings between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2013, up from 430 during the same period of 2012. There were 261 mental health filings in Mesa County during the first eight months of 2011.

Out of the 64 people who were the subject of mental health filings this August, 49, or 77 percent, either attempted suicide or indicated they were contemplating suicide. That percentage is up from both August 2012, when 72 percent of people involved in filings considered suicide, and August 2011, when the percentage was 64 percent.

One-third of people who were the subject of mental health filings in August had been involved in a short-term commitment case before, according to the county, up from 28 percent the previous August.


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