By: Alasyn Zimmerman

August 15, 2018

COLORADO- ‘This is an anxious time of year for a lot of kids and a lot of their parents too,’ said Andrew Romanoff, CEO & President of Mental Health Colorado.

The start of the school year can bring up a lot of stress for many families.

Between health exams, school supply shopping, and getting kids acclimated to a new classroom- one thing that often falls to the wayside: mental health screenings.

Mental Health Colorado, a non-profit organization based in Denver and led by Romanoff is hoping to inspire action in schools and families to make mental health screenings a priority.

School is back in session and while many students are getting health screenings done- one group hopes mental health will be a part of that.

‘We know that children whose mental health or substance use disorders that go untreated are much more likely to fall behind, go untreated, or be expelled,’ said Romanoff.

Mental Health Colorado offers screenings for anyone on its website.

The organization has also created toolkits for schools and families to use when it comes to mental health screenings.

The toolkit can be found here.

Additionally, Mental Health Colorado is hoping more school districts will invest in Mental Health Resources.

In some districts in Colorado Springs, those changes are underway- such as District 11, which is beginning to invest more money to address mental illnesses.

‘It turns out to be much much cheaper to prevent or treat mental illness than to prevent or ignore it or to criminalize it,’ said Romanoff.

Mental Health Colorado is going to the ballot in some cities and counties this November to address funding for mental illness.

As of now, no plans are underway for a ballot question in Southern Colorado.

Originally appeared on KOAA.