Blog


Total hell

January 24, 2019 “It was total hell. Every second felt like an eternity.” That’s how Evan Silverman described the depths of his depression. He testified yesterday in support of a bill we’re championing at the State Capitol. Evan ended up at University Hospital; a psychiatrist there saved his life. But the next time a crisis hit, his doctor was out of the country. An ambulance took Evan to a different hospital, where he didn’t get the care he needed. He spent 13 days in isolation instead. What would have made a difference? A psychiatric advance ...

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100 LAWMAKERS. 120 DAYS. 5 MILLION LIVES.

January 4, 2019 I hope you’re enjoying the new year, at least so far! This morning marked the first day of Colorado’s legislative session—a new chance to save lives. We’re bringing a broad range of proposals to the State Capitol, including plans to reduce the rate of suicide. Among other requests, we’re asking the General Assembly and the governor to: 1) Fund the Zero Suicide framework. 2) Strengthen mental health parity laws. 3) Create a statewide tracking system for psychiatric beds and substance use treatment facilities. 4) Adopt a red flag ...

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What’s next for mental health ballot measures?

By Kara Rowland Jan. 10, 2019 Fresh off key wins for mental health at the ballot box in November, Colorado voters are likely wondering: Now what? This year, Denver, Larimer, San Miguel and Summit counties will begin collecting as much as $67 million in new revenue to help prevent and treat mental health and substance use disorders. School districts in Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson counties will steer millions toward school-based mental health programs while Boulder County is dedicating additional resources to meet the mental health needs of inmates. ...

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CAN YOU GIVE US A LIFT?

November 15, 2018 My road trip started in Aurora on Tuesday morning. Thirty-six hours and 400 miles later, I made it home with a flat tire and the names of about 12 dozen new friends. Mental Health Colorado co-hosted community conversations this week in Breckenridge, Leadville, Cañon City, and Colorado Springs. Each group offered a grim reminder of what can happen when mental illness goes untreated: a son behind bars, a daughter drawn to drugs, a sibling lost to suicide. What I also saw at every stop were men and women determined to make a difference. Now I’m ...

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INVISIBLE WOUNDS

“Not all wounds are visible.” Leroy Garcia served for six years in the United States Marine Corps. He now serves in the Colorado Senate; he’ll become its president in January. Like 14,000 other veterans in Pueblo, the “Home of Heroes,” Sen. Garcia knows what can happen when the mental wounds of military service go untreated. The consequences—including elevated rates of suicide, substance use disorders, and homelessness—can be tragic. That’s why we’re joining Sen. Garcia’s call not only to honor our veterans but also to ensure they receive the ...

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WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

October 31, 2018 Their struggles were painful and familiar: a son who refused treatment, a mother who couldn’t find any, families severed by suicide or homelessness or jail. At a Rotary Club in Fort Collins yesterday, just about everyone had a story to tell. We want to hear yours. If you or someone you love has faced a mental health or substance use disorder, please let us know. We created an online story bank to capture the complexity of mental illness, the benefits of treatment, and the barriers that stop so many Coloradans from getting care. Breaking ...

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AUSTIN’S MESSAGE

October 24, 2018 “I knew I was going to die.” It’s been 19 years since Austin Eubanks crouched under a table in the library at Columbine High School. In the shooting spree that followed, Austin was struck twice; his best friend was killed almost instantly. At a breakfast in Loveland this morning, Austin described the trauma of that day and his subsequent battle with addiction. His message: recovery is possible. Here in Larimer and in 10 other counties across the state, voters have a chance to advance that cause. Nearly a dozen local ballot measures would ...

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A REASON TO BREATHE

“I lost a reason to breathe… my heart, my sunshine, my son.” Leia Pierce’s son Jamel died by suicide in August. He was 9 years old. At a church in Cherry Hills Village last night, 18 parents like Leia gathered in a quiet room at the end of a dark hallway. Their children had all died by suicide, and their grief was overwhelming. A flicker of hope came earlier in the day, in the bright lights of a press conference in Aurora. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced a $2.8 million grant to Children’s Hospital Colorado and Mental Health Colorado. We...

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RESULTS ARE IN

October 9, 2018 If you’re like me, your inbox is flooded with political appeals. The good news: This isn’t one of them. At Mental Health Colorado, we can’t endorse candidates. But we can ask them where they stand—and that’s exactly what we did. We posed eight questions to the candidates running for the state legislature and for governor. Check out their answers atmentalhealthcolorado.org/election2018. More than 100 out of 179 candidates responded. Most supported our priorities, including increasing the availability of mental health services in ...

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EQUAL COVERAGE FOR ALL

October 1, 2018 Are you better off now than you were 10 years ago? When it comes to mental health care, the answer ought to be yes. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act—requiring equal coverage for mental and physical care—was signed into law in 2008. A decade later, we still have a long way to go. Join us at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 12:30 p.m. to celebrate the 10th anniversary of mental health parity and preview the road ahead. If you can’t make it in person, watch our livestream at facebook.com/mentalhealthCO. To...

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