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Governor Scott's weekly briefing focuses on mental health services

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott delivers his weekly briefing July 12, 2022
ORCA media/screenshot
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ORCA media/screenshot
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott delivers his weekly briefing July 12, 2022

Governor Phil Scott’s weekly briefing in Montpelier today focused on mental health needs and resources available to Vermonters as the state continues to prepare for the post-COVID-19 period.

Governor Scott began his briefing noting that the state is tracking mental health data as part of pandemic recovery.

“There’s no doubt we’ve been through a lot of turmoil and uncertainty from a global pandemic to an attempted coup at our U.S. Capitol, a historic reversal of women’s rights, cost increases for just about everything. I think we can all admit this is taking a toll. It’s OK to not feel OK and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in getting some help or just taking some time to take care of yourself.”

Mental health experts discussed resources available to Vermonters in crisis and a new national hotline that launches this weekend. Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health Alison Krompf says the state has been preparing for the new service for the past two years.

“Beginning this Saturday July 16th anyone experiencing mental health distress can call a new number for support by dialing 988. This three digit dialing code will connect callers to the suicide and crisis lifeline where they can access free and confidential and compassionate care. The 988 service is not only for individuals experiencing their own mental health challenges it also serves as a resource. You do not have to be suicidal to call that number.”

Last week Governor Scott formally gave public notice that Proposition 5 will be on ballots statewide in November. The proposed state Constitutional amendment would guarantee personal reproductive liberty. Scott was asked if he expects an turbulent campaign over the ballot question.

“I believe it will pass. That’s just my feeling. And when I take the temperature of Vermonters it seems as though most would agree that we want to protect the ability for the freedom to determine your own health and make sure that’s between you and your health care provider and excluding the government from getting involved. You know I view it as freedom. Others might describe it as a right. But I look at it as freedom of choice, freedom for you to determine what you want to do with your own body and making sure that’s between you and your health care provider.”

As the briefing neared its end the Republican was asked about an upcoming race at Thunder Road. Scott, who is 16th in Late Model Division point standings, quipped that many NASCAR drivers have underestimated the track, but he’s hoping to do better himself.

“It’s a difficult, difficult racetrack. There’s a sense of pride in what we offer and the quality of racing. I’m intending to race this year. I haven’t been very successful this year at all but I will be attempting to qualify and see what I can do.”

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