News Clips


Victor Mitchell: Extreme risk bill is thoughtful, balanced

March 15, 2019 As a one-time state lawmaker who had an A-plus NRA rating and a former Republican candidate for governor, I'm strongly supportive of HB-1177 — a bill that would provide extreme risk protection orders to temporarily remove firearms for those in the midst of a crisis. My perspective on this issue is personal. Our family was in constant fear of losing our eldest daughter to suicide nearly a decade ago. She was just a child of 17 years at the time. Today, she's healthy and successful. Our family took action and removed all the firearms in our home. ...

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GUEST COLUMN: Zero Suicide is more than a hope

By: Jonathan Gordon March 14, 2019 I’ll start out with a question: How many of you who are reading this know someone who has attempted or died by suicide? I suspect there was a lot of head nodding, some anguish, some tears, much grief, constant worry and whole lot of questioning why this happened. Why did 1,175 Coloradans die from suicide in 2017? A simple question with many complicated answers. The gut-wrenching statistic in our state is that suicide is the leading cause of death among 10-24 year olds, and we have one of the highest suicide rates in the ...

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House Majority Leader Garnett says red flag bill protects due process

By: Andy Koen March 11, 2019 DENVER – House Majority Leader Rep. Alec Garnett is defending the red flag bill he co-sponsored as multiple sheriffs and boards of county commissioners from Southern Colorado have come out in opposition to the legislation. House Bill 1177 creates Extreme Risk Protection Orders which use the state court system to temporarily take away guns from someone believed to be a risk to themselves and others. El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper, and Custer County Sheriff Shannon Byerly have all ...

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Youth screened regularly for vision, hearing. What about mental health?

By: Mary Shinn March 10, 2019 Universal mental health screenings in Colorado schools could be one way to address the growing problem of youth suicide. The basic tests could function like vision and hearing screenings to alert parents and teachers to a mental health problem that needs to be referred to a specialist, said Sarah Davidon, research director for Mental Health Colorado, a nonprofit advocacy group. Davidon suggested the screenings last week to state senators and representatives working on education legislation. “Mental health disorders among ...

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Spotlight on mental health in GJ, county

By: Joe Vaccarelli March 10, 2019 Mental Health Colorado interim President and CEO Nancy VanDeMark has lofty goals for this legislative session and hopes to see several programs better funded this year. Concerned about the escalating suicide rate in the state, particularly in Mesa County, Mental Health Colorado is pushing for more funding for programs such as Zero Suicide and an effort to bring more health professionals into schools. "The ratio is far below national recommendations," VanDeMark said of the number of ...

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Counties Declare Second Amendment Sanctuary Status As Legislature Debates Red Flag Bill

By: Abigail Beckman March 7, 2019 A growing number of Colorado counties have declared themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries in response to a so-called red flag bill making its way through the state Legislature. Custer, Fremont, Montezuma, Otero and Weld counties have said they would not enforce the legislation should it become law. Teller County has also denounced the measure, although commissioners there did not claim a "sanctuary" title. House Bill 19-1177 would allow law enforcement to temporarily remove ...

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Colorado counties declare themselves ‘2nd Amendment sanctuaries’ in response to red-flag gun bill

By: Marianne Goodland March 7, 2019 At least four Colorado counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in response to the red-flag gun bill passed by the state House on Monday and headed to the state Senate. The bill would allow a judge to order guns be temporarily seized from someone deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Weld County, population 305,000, adopted its Second Amendment sanctuary resolution Wednesday. It joins Custer, Fremont and Montezuma counties, which adopted similar ...

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Weld joins Colorado counties declaring themselves a “Second Amendment sanctuary”

By: Anna Staver March 6, 2019 A handful of conservative Colorado counties are pushing back against a potential state law that would let judges order the removal of firearms from people they determine to be a safety risk. Weld on Wednesday joined Fremont, Montezuma, Otero and Custer counties in passing a resolution indirectly condemning the extreme risk protection order, or "red flag," bill being debated at the Capitol as unconstitutional and excusing their local sheriffs and other law enforcement from carrying out those orders. “I think we’re trying to make ...

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Mental health advocates host Suicide Prevention Day at Colorado Capitol

By: KUSA Staff Feb.26, 2019 DENVER — Advocates of a pair of bills related to suicide gathered at the Capitol Tuesday to host a Suicide Prevention Day - an event they hope to become an annual occurrence. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Colorado Chapter, Mental Health Colorado, NAMI Colorado, the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado, more than 120 advocates and mental health organizations shared personal stories around mental health and urged lawmakers to pass the bills. SB 19-010 would expand the existing Behavioral Health Care Professional ...

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Mental health on minds at ag forum

By: Jeff Rice March 1, 2019 The mental health of farmers and ranchers was on a lot of minds was on the minds of a lot of people at the Governor's Forum on Colorado Agriculture last week. One entire breakout session dealt with mental health in rural Colorado, and the subject came up at least twice in other sessions. Former Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, Elizabeth Hickman, Executive Director of Centennial Mental Health Centers, and Kay Greene, Development Director for Mental Health Colorado participated in a breakout panel session on mental health in ...

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