August 16, 2018

Monday was the first day of school for students on the west end of Montrose County. But their teachers, custodians, and bus drivers returned last week for a class of their own—in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

RE-2 Superintendent Mike Epright and all 51 of his employees spent their first day back at work learning how to spot the signs of a mental health disorder and how to respond appropriately. Tri-County Health Network, which provided the training, said the school district may be the first in the state to make such a commitment.

We hope it’s not the last.

Our new School Mental Health Toolkit spells out a set of strategies, including funding options, for improving students’ mental health. We aim to reach every school in Colorado; learn how you can help.

It will take all of us to lift our state from its embarrassingly low ranking: 48th in youth mental health. The staff in at least one school district is leading the way.

-Andrew Romanoff