Much has been written about the negative public health, environmental and quality-of-life impacts from the possible reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine. An additional concern is its negative impacts on mental health for individuals and the community.
Nevada County has a higher rate of depression and suicide than the California average, combined with a lower percentage of mental health providers per capita, according to the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (www.mynevadacounty.com/DocumentCenter/View/27995).
The pandemic has led to an even greater demand for mental health services, and there has been an alarming increase in overdose deaths.
It is clear from the number of people mobilized in opposition to the mine that the possible reopening has already led to considerable anxiety and depression in the community. Worry about property values, loss of well water, noise, traffic, environmental impacts and increased health problems is widespread.
Additionally, the possible reopening of the mine is yet another divisive issue in the community.
At a time when our cohesiveness is challenged on many fronts, this is an issue for which there is a clear solution, and that is to deny the Rise Gold proposal.
This opinion pieces was originally published in The Union.