The Boulder Rotary Club is in its fifth year of focusing on mental health, under the leadership of member Diana Sherry and the Behavioral Health and Wellness Initiative committee.
For its 100th anniversary the club raised $200,000 for four projects, including a Mindfulness Path in the courtyard of the new behavioral wellness wing of Boulder Community Hospital. This was an expression of appreciation for the hospital’s expansion that came at a time when other hospitals were reducing or eliminating such services. Patients, staff and visitors now can spend time on the path’s eight benches, each presenting a quotation to inspire hope or reflection.
Learning that more than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get their first drugs from friends or family, Boulder Rotary set a goal to prevent young people in particular from getting hooked. Their project encouraged people to get rid of opioids and such that were languishing in their medicine cabinets long after their need. Their efforts were part of a “medication take-back” movement.
In Boulder they created information sheets that encouraged people to take unneeded drugs to take-back kiosks in law enforcement offices or pharmacies. With new information from the Federal Drug Administration, they now encourage people to flush opioids and benzodiazepams down the toilet. Other drugs may be thrown away and are considered safe in landfills.
Another major effort was co-hosting a lecture series in the Spring 2018 and 2019. They teamed with Boulder Valley Rotary, Boulder County Health and Mental Health Partners to present informative mental health programs for the general public. More than 1,000 persons attended. The club created comprehensive resource list and a call-to-action flyer for distribution at those events.