News Clips


Opinion: To prevent child maltreatment, we must strengthen families. Let’s start with House Bill 1193.

By: Jade Woodard and Nancy VanDeMark April 21, 2019 More than 250 people came together at the Capitol earlier this month to draw attention to the need to strengthen families — a time-honored tradition among advocates during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in Colorado. It is a time to recognize that we all play a role in improving the lives of children, youth and families. Link to full story here. Originally appeared on The Colorado Sun.

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Suicide of Sol Pais — Florida teen seen as threat to Denver-area schools — highlights mental health, mass tragedies

By: Jessica Seaman April 19, 2019 When Sol Pais traveled to Denver on Monday and bought a gun, it triggered a daylong search before she was found dead of a suspected suicide — an ending that has brought mental health and mass tragedies back into the spotlight on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. There’s still a lot unknown about the 18-year-old Florida woman’s trip to Colorado. But her death highlights both the rise in teenagers and young adults killing themselves and the complexity of mental illness and mass ...

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Safe 2 Tell tips show demand for mental health resources at school

By: Andy Koen April 17, 2019 DENVER – Tools developed in the aftermath of the Columbine school shooting point to an underserved need in Colorado classrooms; better access to mental health resources. Data compiled by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office show calls and texts by students to Safe 2 Tell tip line quadrupled in recent years from fewer than 4,000 tips during the 2014-2015 school year to some 16,000 tips last year. As of March, more than 14,000 tips were recorded for the current school year. Of those tips, the most frequent each year ...

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American Tragedy: Love is Not Enough

By: KGNU News Staff April 18, 2019 Laurie Freeman has dedicated her life to advocating for mental health after the loss of her husband and son to suicide and her daughter to an overdose. She’s featured in a new documentary titled American Tragedy – Love is Not Enough. “In 2010 I lost my 19 year old son to suicide followed 7 months later by my husband taking his life. 5 years later my daughter overdosed on prescription drugs, so I got very involved with mental health, with suicide prevention, helped found the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ...

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No Colorado school districts meet federal safety standards for behavioral health staffing, investigation shows

By: Christopher Osher & Jennifer Brown April 12, 2019 Tamara Durbin is responsible for making sure more than 4,300 students across some 5,000 square miles of Colorado’s Eastern Plains get mental health care when they need it. She does so with a patchwork of staffers that comes nowhere close to what the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for student safety. Link to the full story. Originally appeared on The Colorado Sun.

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The healing power of nature – Studies show being outdoors reduces stress, depression and anxiety

By: Shanna Fortier April 10, 2019 After graduating college, Travis Wild soon found that spending time in the mountains and on trails in Colorado gave him a place to reconnect with himself and restore his mind. “For me, the outdoors are how everything is supposed to be without influence of problems,” Wild said, adding that nature has been the steady support in his life through rough times. When he was diagnosed with testicular cancer almost five years ago, at age 26, Wild turned to nature to destress and cope with the difficult situation. The diagnosis came when ...

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Colorado Legislators Seek Parity for Mental Health Treatment

April 8, 2019 According to Mental Health Colorado, over one million Colorado citizens live with a mental health issue or substance use disorder, though only half are estimated to receive the care they need with many going without care entirely, even if they have health insurance.Mental Health Colorado is one of the organizations supporting a bill that will ensure mental health care is treated equally to physical health care by insurance companies. House Bill 19-1269, which will hold insurers accountable to current state and federal parity laws that require ...

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Solutions to our youth mental health crisis within reach this year

By: Jena Hausmann April 8, 2019 Colorado is first in the nation on many fronts, most of which we are rightly proud of. But Colorado also has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the nation. Pueblo County, along with El Paso, La Plata, and Mesa counties, have the highest rates of youth suicide in the state, according to a report released by the attorney general last year. Fortunately, we also have a chance this year to make our beautiful state a leader when it comes to youth mental health. Since 2015, suicide has taken the lives of more than 24 young people ...

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A Father’s Story: How Shoplifting Led to My Son Spending 7 Months in Solitary

By: Michael Roberts April 3, 2019 Later today in Colorado Springs, a young man will appear at a hearing that could lead to him spending the next five years in prison. He previously lingered for seven months in solitary confinement after allegedly assaulting a guard — a crime that likely took place because he was in the throes of a mental illness crisis for which he received no treatment following his arrest on a minor shoplifting charge. His mental condition went untreated while in solitary, too. Like his son, the young man's father, to whom we're referring ...

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Insurers have ignored mental health care despite a law prioritizing it. State Dems want to change that.

By: Faith Miller April 03, 2019 Coloradans aren’t getting proper mental health care. That’s not just an opinion — according to the law, it’s a fact. The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 was supposed to ensure that insurance carriers prioritized behavioral health (which encompasses mental health and substance use treatment) on the same level as physical health. But in Colorado, as in most other states, that’s not happening. In 2015, people here were seven times more likely to go out-of-network for behavioral health treatm...

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