Talk in the 10: Mental health commentary

    Fremont County is large, diverse, and filled with opinions, or “talk in the 10.” “Talk in the 10” is an opportunity for you, our readers, to articulate and share your thoughts about what is happening in the community with the community. Letters may have been edited for clarity and length, but generally have been published exactly as received. The views expressed in the following are solely those of the author. Send your letters to our editors by emailing opi[email protected]

    I have just finished reading the article in the Casper Star 2/17/24 titled “Gordon buckles down on mental health”. It was an interesting article and talks about many of the issues that we are all familiar with here in Fremont County. The item that stood out for me was the number of suicides in Wyoming. The number used was 153 in 2022. I found the 2021 statistic from the CDC to be 190 with Wyoming being number one in the nation at 32.3 /100,000 population. I am sure that the Governor’s numbers are more current, but either one is a terrible ranking for our beautiful state.

    Suicide, while a devastating thing for a family to have to endure is only one of the many “facets” on the (sic) jewel that we call mental health. Other facets are alcoholism, family abuse, loss of productivity in our employment, as well as death of friends and neighbors. This is not a definitive list, but gives you some insight into the depth of the problem. With that knowledge, I was chagrined (but not surprised) that a proposal of $250,000 was suggested by the State to help in this area. Given the magnitude of the problem and its devastation on our citizens, I feel the citizens of our great state can and must do much more than that.


    In our community (Fremont County), we are currently talking about trying to locate a $10 million dollar shooting facility. I am not opposed to a shooting facility, but in my mind, dealing with a serious effort to help with the mental health needs across Wyoming is much more important. I could go into several other examples dealing with similar obvious problems across Wyoming, but I have about reached the point of asking myself. Why bother?

    In the Star Trek movie, James T. Kirk speaks into his communicator and says, “Beam me up, Scotty, there is no intelligent life down here.” I agree.

    Ron Warpness


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