A little more spark

“A little less conversation, a little more action, please.” Congress could take a lesson from Elvis Presley. As the federal government teeters on the edge of a shutdown, “all this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me.” That’s good advice for anyone who wants to make a difference. At Mental Health Colorado, we measure our success not by the number of meetings we hold or speeches we give, but by the number of Coloradans who get the mental health care they need. By that measure, we have a lot of work to do. Half a million Coloradans still go without ...

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Join the Wave

The governor and the speaker of the House called it an epidemic. The president of the Senate said it “could be the greatest health crisis our nation has faced thus far in the 21st century.” As the legislature opened for business this week, Democrats and Republicans alike sounded the alarm over opioids. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is proposing a package of remedies. Now it’s up to their colleagues—and all of us—to do something about it. We were glad to hear legislative leaders pledge support for prevention and treatment. But if we’re serious about ...

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MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS EXPLAIN ‘M1 HOLD’

BY KRISTIN HAUBRICH DENVER --  Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said he plans to tackle the mental health issues in the county and the state after the deadly shooting on New Year’s Eve in Highlands Ranch. Newly released body camera video from the ambush shows deputies Zackari Parrish and Taylor Davis were going to place an M1 hold on Matthew Riehl because he was going through a manic episode. Under Colorado law, if someone is mentally ill and an imminent danger to themselves or others, officers have the right to take them into custody and place them in a ...

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PORTIONS OF BODY CAM FOOTAGE FROM DOUGCO AMBUSH SHOOTING RELEASED

BY: Ryan Haarer and Krystyna Biassou KUSA - Just over a week after an ambush shooting left both the shooter and a young deputy dead, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office released portions of body camera footage of the firefight and what led up to it. In an 8-minute long produced video posted to the agency's Facebook page, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock addresses viewers and says he is attempting to answer lingering questions about that morning. "There’s a lot of information out there and I would like you to hear from me about what happened," Spu...

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THERE WERE NUMEROUS MENTAL HEALTH WARNINGS LEADING UP TO THE DOUGLAS COUNTY DEPUTY SHOOTING. WHY WASN’T THE GUNMAN HOSPITALIZED?

By John Ingold | jingold@denverpost.com and Noelle Phillips | nphillips@denverpost.com | The Denver Post DOUGLAS COUNTY - For the man who killed a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy and wounded six other people, the warning signs were abundant. At various points over the past three years, Matthew Riehl’s parents, friends who served with him in the Wyoming National Guard, professors at his former law school and law enforcement officers in two states all expressed concern about his mental health, according to official documents and interviews. His mother told ...

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MENTAL HEALTH COLORADO CEO: WE NEED MORE EMPHASIS ON EARLY INTERVENTION

BY: Lance Hernandez DENVER – The Colorado Department of Human Services is ramping up its support of co-responder programs that place mental health professionals alongside police, when officers are handling calls related to people in a mental health crisis. Those programs are intended to keep jails and prisons from filling up with minor offenders dealing with mental health issues. “That’s a trend we want to accelerate and continue,” said former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, now President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. “We know ...

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Psychologist explains why the DougCo shooter wasn’t involuntarily committed before attack

Anastasiya Bolton, KUSA KUSA - The mental health struggles faced by the man police say ambushed multiple Douglas County sheriff’s deputies -- killing Deputy Zackari Parrish -- expose cracks in the mental health system. Documents released by law enforcement agencies from Lone Tree to Wyoming show Matthew Riehl suffered from apparent mental illness and recently resisted his friends' pleas to seek more treatment. 9NEWS shared those documents with forensic psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel, who helps 9NEWS understand issues of mental health. He said police documented a ...

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Dealing with the holiday blues

It's the time of year where all the holly jolly can be a little overwhelming. This article originally appeared on 9News.

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Mental health data is lacking, particularly for local youth

BY NAT STEIN The data available on mental health in El Paso County does not compare favorably to statistics from the rest of the state. There’s the suicide rate: From 2013 to 2015, El Paso County’s stood at 23.1 per 100,000 residents compared to 19.1 statewide, according to Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) Vital Statistics. There’s the percentage of adults with diagnosed depression: 21.6 percent here compared to 19.3 statewide, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. ...

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Time to talk: Community members form unique mental health partnership

BY ALEX DEWIND adewind@coloradocommunitymedia.com Several Douglas County administrators sat on one side of a large rectangular table. The deputy county attorney was a few seats down, near a deputy from the sheriff’s office. Representatives from area hospitals, public health departments, rehabilitation centers, nonprofits and churches filled other seats. Some people presented; others listened and threw around ideas. They were at a monthly meeting at Douglas County’s administration building in Castle Rock to brainstorm how they could better serve residents with ...

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