By: Katie Pelton
October 19, 2018
Credit: MGN

DENVER (KKTV) — A non-profit is getting major funding to help put more mental health resources in our schools. The group ‘Mental Health Colorado’ was awarded $800,000 from the attorney general’s office.

“Attorney General Cynthia Coffman this week announced a $2.8 million initiative to improve children’s mental health. It’s a partnership between Mental Health Colorado, our organization, and Children’s Hospital Colorado,” said Andrew Romanoff, the President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado.

They will use the funding to put toolkits in every school, which will help districts develop the services they need. Click here to learn more about the toolkits.

“Our goal is to equip all 178 school districts and all 1,888 schools with the training and resources they need to make sure that no more kids fall through the cracks,” said Romanoff. “The research we’ve done suggests that if Colorado wanted to meet national recommended ratios, we’d need twice as many school counselors, nurses and nine times as many school social workers as we have right now.”

It’s the biggest grant the group has received. “The grant the attorney general made is the largest we’ve received in the 65 year history of organization, at least to my knowledge,” said Romanoff.

“It will make a sizemake difference in our work,” he said. “We know that in most cases the first signs of illness occur during adolescence. We also know that we’re waiting too long to intervene. There’s a delay between the onset of symptoms and the arrival of treatment, a delay that lasts on average eight to ten years.”

Romanoff said it’s an issue across our state, but help is always available. “We lose 1,100 Coloradans each year to suicide and we’re losing kids to suicide among that number,” said Romanoff. “One other thing that kids and parents can do right now before another crisis hits, is to get screened.” Click here to visit Mental Health Colorado’s screening resources.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call the state’s crisis line at 1-844-493-8255 or text ‘TALK’ to 38255. Click here to visit the state’s crisis services website.

Originally appeared on KKTV.