Mental Health Colorado advocates for every Coloradan who experiences a mental health or substance use condition each year. We engage policymakers, providers, the public, and the press to promote mental well-being, ensure equitable access to mental health and substance use care, and end discrimination. Our efforts range from the Capitol to the classroom.
For a full list of our resources, visit our Help page.
- Take a screening
Taking a screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common, and treatable. And recovery is possible. But not all of us think about our mental health enough.
If you’ve had trouble sleeping lately, if you’ve been experiencing racing thoughts, or if you’re just curious – the screens below can help you understand more about your mental health.
- 31 Tips To Boost Your Mental Health
- Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
- Start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression. If you can’t drink coffee because of the caffeine, try another good-for-you drink like green tea.
- Set up a getaway. It could be camping with friends or a trip to the tropics. The act of planning a vacation and having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!
- Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.
- Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep. The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60˚ and 67˚ Fahrenheit.
- “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King Jr. Think of something in your life you want to improve, and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.
- Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint or try a Pinterest project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.
- Show some love to someone in your life. Close, quality relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.
- Boost brainpower by treating yourself to a couple pieces of dark chocolate every few days. The flavanoids, caffeine, and theobromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve alertness and mental skills.
- “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” -Maya Angelou. If you have personal experience with mental illness or recovery, share on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr with #mentalillnessfeelslike. Check out what other people are saying at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike
- Sometimes, we don’t need to add new activities to get more pleasure. We just need to soak up the joy in the ones we’ve already got. Trying to be optimistic doesn’t mean ignoring the uglier sides of life. It just means focusing on the positive as much as possible.
- Feeling anxious? Take a trip down memory lane and do some coloring for about 20 minutes to help you clear your mind. Pick a design that’s geometric and a little complicated for the best effect.
- Take time to laugh. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy or check out cute videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
- Go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face.
- Dance around while you do your housework. Not only will you get chores done, but dancing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases endorphins (the body’s “feel-good” chemicals).
- Go ahead and yawn. Studies suggest that yawning helps cool the brain and improves alertness and mental efficiency.
- Relax in a warm bath once a week. Try adding Epsom salts to soothe aches and pains and help boost magnesium levels, which can be depleted by stress.
- Has something been bothering you? Let it all out…on paper. Writing about upsetting experiences can reduce symptoms of depression.
- Spend some time with a furry friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone – cortisol, and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter.
- “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.”
– Henry David Thoreau. Practice mindfulness by staying “in the present.” Try these tips.
- Be a tourist in your own town. Often times people only explore attractions on trips, but you may be surprised what cool things are in your own backyard.
- Try prepping your lunches or picking out your clothes for the work week. You’ll save some time in the mornings and have a sense of control about the week ahead.
- Work some omega-3 fatty acids into your diet–they are linked to decreased rates of depression and schizophrenia among their many benefits. Fish oil supplements work, but eating your omega-3s in foods like wild salmon, flaxseeds or walnuts also helps build healthy gut bacteria.
- Practice forgiveness – even if it’s just forgiving that person who cut you off during your commute. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.
- “What appear to be calamities are often the sources of fortune.” – Disraeli
Try to find the silver lining in something kind of cruddy that happened recently.
- Feeling stressed? Smile. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but smiling can help to lower your heart rate and calm you down.
- Send a thank you note – not for a material item, but to let someone know why you appreciate them. Written expressions of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.
- Do something with friends and family – have a cookout, go to a park, or play a game. People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend 6-7 hours with friends and family.
- Take 30 minutes to go for a walk in nature – it could be a stroll through a park, or a hike in the woods. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being.
- Do your best to enjoy 15 minutes of sunshine, and apply sunscreen. Sunlight synthesizes Vitamin D, which experts believe is a mood elevator.
- “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
Try something outside of your comfort zone to make room for adventure and excitement in your life.
- 2020-2021 Annual Report
2021-2021 At A Glance:
- During the 2020 legislative session, Mental Health Colorado and its partners secured $15.2 million in federal funding for mental health in response to the pandemic.
- We launched the Care Not Cuffs campaign to increase public demand for a health-based response to health care needs.
- As of April 15, 2020, The Equitas Project is now part of Mental Health Colorado. The Equitas Project has worked in Colorado and nationally to disentangle mental health and criminal justice since its founding by the David and Laura Merage Foundation in 2013.
- To help ensure a strong start for all of Colorado’s children in the post-vaccine phase of the pandemic, we promoted free needs assessment screenings and recovery-focused therapy sessions for kids anticipating a fall return to in-person school.
- We provided 21,990 free, anonymous mental health and substance use screenings through our website. The screenings during the pandemic year were up 267% from the previous year, reflecting a nationwide surge in positive screenings for stress and anxiety and other mental health concerns.
- 2021 Legislative Report
In 2020, millions of us were forced into isolation, and anxiety was at an all-time high due to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. As we move into a post-vaccine world, we are seeing a secondary pandemic of mental health and substance use concerns, and we must be prepared to deal with the increased demand for care and support. These needs are reflected in our 2021 policy priorities.
- Upcoming Events
This past year affected our health in ways many of us never could have imagined. It made us realize just how important mental health is in our daily lives. During our 39th annual Tribute Gala, we will gather virtually to reflect on this last year and look to the future with confidence and optimism.
When: ThursdayLearn more about our Virtual Tribute Gala
Where: Virtual (we’ll send the streaming link to attendees the week of)