Blog


A question

Why didn’t you get the mental health care you needed? The Colorado Health Institute posed that question in a recent statewide survey. The answer from an estimated 90,000 Coloradans: “I was worried about what would happen if someone found out.” That’s a large and troubling number—and it doesn’t seem to be going down. A similar share of the population cited the same concern five years ago. The question for all of us: What can we do about it? First, we can make good on the laws we’ve passed. The law bans discrimination on the basis of mental health ...

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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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Are you in?

“Are we the only ones?” A father in Brighton was searching for help. His daughter, a victim of cyberbullying, needed mental health care; she’d been waiting for weeks on end. A mother in Golden made a similar plea. Her son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was “getting sicker every day.” These parents and their children deserve better answers and swifter care. That’s why we’re here. At Mental Health Colorado, we break through barriers. We change laws. We save lives. Your support makes that possible. But we don’t have a lot of time ...

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You tell me

“Are there enough of us?” That’s what a supporter asked me at a community center in Golden. She wanted politicians to pay attention to mental health care, and she wondered how many people it would take to make that happen. We’re about to find out. Tomorrow is Colorado Gives Day, our state’s largest online giving event, but you can schedule your tax-deductible donation right now. By supporting Mental Health Colorado, you’ll make vital services available to more families in need. And you’ll send a powerful message: that mental illness is real, that ...

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Breaking news

Need mental health care? Got insurance? A new report says it’s not that simple. The report shows that Coloradans are going out of network seven times as often for mental health care as for physical care. And one reason mental health professionals are so scarce: they’re making 40 percent less than other health care providers. These disparities aren’t just alarming. They may be illegal. We worked hard to pass laws requiring mental health parity. Now we’re asking you to help us enforce them. Educating consumers. Eradicating stigma. Expanding treatment. ...

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I made it out alive

“I didn’t understand why I felt so empty inside.” Lea’s story begins with her father. He struggled with depression and died by suicide when she was nine years old. Devastated, Lea turned to alcohol, drugs, and self-harm. But with therapy and support, she says, “I made it out alive. Too many Coloradans don’t. More than 1,000 die by suicide every year. The good news: You can make a difference. Colorado Gives Day is Dec. 5, but you can schedule your tax-deductible donation right now. Lea and survivors like her are living proof that mental health care ...

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Survey Says

Can you make it to Golden, Aspen, Littleton, or Fort Collins before Thanksgiving? That’s our schedule over the next seven days. We’re crisscrossing the state to promote mental health care. But even if you can’t join us in person, you can now follow our progress—and Colorado’s—online. Our new data dashboard allows you to track key outcomes at a state and local level. Learn how your county compares to the rest of Colorado in the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders and the availability of treatment. Our new data dashboard allows you to ...

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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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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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