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EDITORIAL: Greeley judge's legacy formed through work to help mentally ill, those with learning disabilities

Greeley Tribune - 11/11/2017

Nov. 11--We'd like to offer a belated thanks to Karen and Scott Clugston.

Scott Clugston is a former Weld County judge. Along with his wife, he did much during his life to raise the level of understanding about those with mental illnesses and those with learning disabilities. The couple's daughter, Becky, battled both a learning disability and schizophrenia. The loving and devoted parents that they were, the couple learned much about both learning disabilities and mental illness. This was at a time -- in the 1960s and '70s -- when issues like mental health and learning disabilities were taboo and discussed less than they are today.

Still, the couple formed an organization for parents of children with learning disabilities. Scott Clugston spent a good portion of three years drumming up support for a learning disability program. Later, the couple founded the Greeley Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The group served many parents and a few clients who came together to talk and host fun activities like art shows, as well as attempt to change the way people thought about those with mental illnesses.

They did things such as create a pamphlet for parents with details on how to handle a crisis and places for them to go for help. They also met with police to offer tips on how to de-escalate a situation with a mental health patient.

Scott Clugston died on Sept. 29. There are many ways his legacy will live on, but a big part of it will come in the form of the work he and his wife did to help our community learn more about two difficult topics that often don't get the attention they deserve.

We'd like to wish Karen Clugston all the best as she transitions to life without her husband. And we'd like to thank both Clugstons for all they've done to make our community a better place.

-- Tribune Editorial Board


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