Colorado mental health data moves in wrong direction despite some promising trends

By Jack Queen More High Country residents are saying they experience at least one week of poor mental health days per month than two years ago, and the percentage who say they needed mental health care but didn't get it increased as well, according to state survey data. Despite promising trends in Summit County mental health care, including a suicide rate near a 10-year low, those figures and a host of behavioral-health-risk-factor data show there is plenty of work left to be done. "The fact that suicides are down doesn't necessarily mean people are experiencing more ...

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Group aims to boost Coloradans’ mental health

Colorado routinely makes the list as one of the physically healthiest states in the union, but a new effort by the organization Mental Health Colorado strives to make Colorado the mentally healthiest state too. The group’s president, former Colorado state Rep. Andrew Romanoff, said the new data dashboard that just launched on the group’s website offers Coloradans a chance to see where they stand in terms of mental health and substance abuse disorders. “Previously you would have had to go to several dozen sources to get all this information,” said Romanoff. ...

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New data helps Aspen, other areas compare suicides, mental health issues

By Scott Condon One way to reduce the 1,000-plus suicides that occur each year in Colorado is to integrate mental with physical health care, according to a statewide nonprofit. Mental Health Colorado is promoting the idea that state residents should pay as much attention to what's going on in their head as in their heart, said executive director Andrew Romanoff, a former Colorado House speaker. One tool to achieve that goal is to make free, confidential mental health screenings universal, he said. Romanoff will be one of the featured speakers Thursday at the Aspen ...

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Landslide

Democrats and Republicans shared a victory yesterday. There’s a sentence you don’t often see. But that’s what happened last night in Eagle County. More than 10,000 people in Eagle County experience a mental health or substance use disorder each year, yet the county dedicates no resources to treatment. A bipartisan coalition set out to change that, proposing a tax on the sale and production of recreational marijuana. The result: nearly 74% of voters supported Issue 1A. We’re proud to have been part of the winning team. But we have far more work to ...

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Eagle County voters approve marijuana tax to fund mental health programs

by Randy Wyrick EAGLE COUNTY — Eagle County has its own marijuana tax, following months of proponents jonesing for it. Ballot Issue 1A won in a landslide, with support from more than 73 percent of voters. "Eagle County voted to save lives. It was a bipartisan effort to put this over the top," said Andrew Romanoff, CEO of Mental Health Colorado. The tax on recreational marijuana could generate an estimated $2 million annually for county coffers. Of that, the first $1.2 million is supposed to be spent on mental health and substance abuse programs in the Eagle River and ...

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Colorado ski-resort county hopes to tax pot to fund mental health services

By David O. Williams When Eagle County Public Health and Environment director Chris Lindley moved up to the Vail Valley from Denver a few months ago, he was stunned to learn his new home doesn’t have a single bed for people dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues. “Being new to the county and coming up here from Denver, I’m shocked that in a community as wealthy and with as many resources and in this beautiful natural environment that we lack the mental health resources for the people that live and work here,” said Lindley, who worked for the ...

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No waiting

“Is this likely to get better anytime soon?” At a meeting in Eagle on Tuesday, a commissioner asked me whether her county should wait for the federal government to improve mental health care. Two days later, the President issued an executive order that jeopardizes coverage for mental health and substance use services and for Americans with preexisting conditions. “Madam Chair,” I replied, “I’d say if you’re waiting for Washington to help, this will be a very long meeting.” The good news: Eagle County isn’t waiting. The commissioners approved a ...

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World Mental Health Day Presentation

World Mental Health Day Presentation from Eagle County Government TV on Vimeo. Andrew Romanoff, President and CEO, Mental Health Colorado discusses his organization's mission to advocate for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.

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Proponents of Eagle County marijuana tax say, if passed, it will provide a mental health-funding model for all of Colorado

EAGLE — Suicide kills an American every 12 minutes — 44,000 Americans every year and 10 in Eagle County so far this year. "Think about that," said Andrew Romanoff, with Mental Health Colorado. "If someone attacked the United States and killed an American every 12 minutes and wiped out 44,000 of us in the course of a year, we would declare war." "In some ways, we have declared war, and this is a war we can win," Romanoff said. Romanoff was in Eagle on Tuesday, Oct. 10, to help proponents kick off their campaign for 1A, the ballot measure that would institute county...

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Removing barriers to mental health care access

What stops Coloradans from getting the mental health care they need? You can learn a lot by asking them. That's one of the things we've been doing over the past 18 months, as part of a statewide listening tour. A new report from the Colorado Health Institute confirms what we've heard. The report shows that more Coloradans than ever have health insurance. But an estimated 380,000 Coloradans, including 51,500 in El Paso County, still go without mental health care - figures that have barely budged over the last four years. The single biggest barrier: cost. More ...

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