Blog


TO IMPROVE MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH, RESEARCH MUST PUT PATIENTS FIRST

By: Elena Rios and Doris Browne July 7, 2018 As physicians, we care for patients with acute and chronic diseases every day, doing whatever we can to help them achieve the best health outcomes possible and live long, productive lives. But as leaders of the two largest physician organizations dedicated to health advocacy for racial minority populations in the United States, we know that far too many of the patients our members treat will have less access to the care they need, and see poorer outcomes, than non-minorities. We see these disparities across all ...

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GOOD NEWS

July 5, 2018 Did you hear the good news? No, really, have you heard any? We’re searching for stories to celebrate—specifically, Coloradans who are making a difference in mental health. Nominate an individual for Mental Health Colorado’s Tribute Gala. Each year, we honor leaders in the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Past honorees include a therapist in Durango still practicing at 91, a public safety chief in Longmont who forged partnerships between law enforcement and mental health, and a team of students who scaled all ...

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CLOSE THE GAP

June 28, 2018 July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Every month ought to be. Higher rates of poverty, lower rates of coverage, and the persistence of discrimination—among other barriers—often put mental health services out of reach. The result: Coloradans of color are less likely to receive the care they need. How do we close that gap? We can start by enforcing the laws we’ve got, including requirements for mental health parity and network adequacy. We can expand and diversify the mental health workforce. We can promote respect. And we can ...

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AND THE WINNER IS…

June 21, 2018 Let’s say you’re running for governor. The primary is Tuesday, so you have just a few days left to make your case. Here’s what we want to know: What will you do to improve Colorado’s mental health? That’s the question we put to nine gubernatorial candidates earlier this year. Watch the full debate or a four-minute recap at mentalhealthcolorado.org/governor2018. Most of the candidates said they wanted to boost mental health care. They differed when asked how they would pay for it, what steps they would take to address drug and alcohol ...

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EVERY SCHOOL, EVERY STUDENT

May 17, 2018 Quick quiz: Which state ranks 48th in youth mental health? Here’s a hint: You live there. Each year, an estimated 200,000 students in Colorado experience a mental health or substance use disorder; most go without the care they need. The result: increased truancy, dropouts, suspensions, expulsions—and one of the highest suicide rates in the country. We can do better, not only by recognizing and treating mental illness but by taking steps to strengthen every student’s mental health. That’s why Mental Health Colorado is releasing a new sch...

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GOING, GOING…

May 10, 2018 One hundred and twenty days after they began, state lawmakers wrapped up their annual session last night. What do we have to show for it? When it comes to mental health care, quite a bit. We championed more than a dozen bills, almost all of which are now on their way to the governor’s desk. Among our top priorities: helping Coloradans navigate the insurance system (HB 1357); secure treatment and housing in the wake of a mental health crisis (SB 270); receive residential or inpatient care for substance use disorders (HB 1136); and obtain mental ...

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SURVEY: BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CRISIS SYSTEM

The Crisis Steering Committee provides recommendations to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) on how to improve and enhance the State’s behavioral health crisis system. Behavioral health includes both mental health conditions and substance use disorder. By taking this survey, you will help the committee identify system efficiencies that will improve response in all communities. The Committee would like to solicit input from people who are using or have used the mental health and/or substance use system. This survey will be open until Friday, May 25th. ...

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LEADERSHIP

May 2, 2018 What happens to a politician who bucks his party? If you’re the Assistant House Minority Leader, it doesn’t end well. Full disclosure: I’ve known Cole Wist for nearly 25 years, and I’m glad to call him a friend. That's why I was sad and angry to see him denounced as a traitor and threatened with demotion. Cole’s offense? Sponsoring House Bill 18-1436. The bill would allow law enforcement officers to remove guns temporarily from the homes of individuals who pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Reps. Wist (R-Centennial) and ...

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NOW

April 30, 2018 Colorado won’t be the first state to enact a “red flag” law, but we can make it the next. Reps. Alec Garnett (D-Denver) and Cole Wist (R-Centennial) just introduced House Bill 18-1436. The bill would allow law enforcement officers to remove guns temporarily from the homes of people who pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Nine other states have authorized extreme risk protection orders, and the results are encouraging. Connecticut prevented one suicide for every 10 guns removed. HB 1436 faces its first hearing in the House ...

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TRAPPED

April 26, 2018 You’re in the midst of a mental health emergency. You’re held for evaluation and treatment. Seventy-two hours pass. Now you’re on your own. For thousands of Coloradans, a crisis doesn’t always lead to care. That’s why we wrote Senate Bill 18-270. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Cheri Jahn (U-Wheat Ridge) and Tim Neville (R-Littleton) and Reps. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) and Cole Wist (R-Centennial), would help individuals with severe mental health or substance use disorders get treatment, housing and support. Without assistance, ...

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