GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Protecting at-risk adults and the most vulnerable in the community was the meaning behind the Purple Ribbon Ceremony at Mesa County Health and Human Services on June 14.
Individuals at risk rely on others for their care and are more likely to experience mistreatment.
Mesa County officials want to change that and become a resource for those in need.
Kirsten Barnard, Lead Worker for Adult Protection Services says, “people with disabilities do need support, they’re often the people who get forgotten about in general and I think we do a lot of great work to help amplify their voices and support them and advocate for what they want and what they need.”
Leaders say the conversation doesn’t end in June.
Joe Kellerby, Child Protection Manager at the Mesa County Department of Health and Human Services says, “our division here with the Mesa County Health and Human Services responds to those types of concerns and it’s just really important to continue that awareness year-round.”
More than 65,000 cases were reported in the U.S. in 2020 and more than 1,500 cases were reported in Mesa County in 2020.
Kellerby also says, “it’s a really important topic that we have community-wide awareness. Our at-risk adults and citizens here in Mesa County they need help at times, they need help with their own protection, their own safety, they need help protecting of their finances and they just need the ability to live in their own homes safely and protected.”
To report suspected adult abuse or neglect, call the Adult Protection Hotline at 248-2888. For more information, visit https://humanservices.mesacounty.us/adult-protection.