A question

January 26, 2018

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 and substance use disorders, but any law is just a paper promise unless we enforce it.

Second, we can support those who seek mental health care, instead of disparaging or demonizing them. That’s one of the reasons we’re crisscrossing the state, in an effort to improve public understanding of mental illness.

You can help by attending a community conversation or by hosting one. Nearly 3,500 Coloradans joined us last year.

Let’s make sure all of us can find, afford, and obtain—without fear—the care we need.

-Andrew Romanoff

January 26, 2018