Romanoff sets virtual town hall to grapple with mental health concerns

March 16, 20120

By: Ernest Luning

Originally appeared in Colorado Politics

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff has announced plans to hold a virtual town hall on Wednesday devoted to anxiety and other mental health issues surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

“The pandemic we now face has taught us a lot about the coronavirus, COVID-19 and how to protect our physical health. But this crisis takes a toll on our mental health as well,” said Romanoff, a former state House speaker who headed Mental Health Colorado for four years before throwing his hat in the ring for Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s seat.

The virtual town hall will take place at noon Wednesday on a variety of the Romanoff campaign’s social media platforms — FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Said Romanoff: “Mental health professionals will be on hand to answer your questions about how to handle anxiety, address your children’s concerns and improve your wellbeing.”

In the meantime, he noted, anyone struggling with mental health issues can call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 for free, confidential counseling available in English and Spanish around the clock.

Romanoff lauded advice offered by Vincent Atchity, his successor helming the statewide advocacy organization.

“Some anxiety is normal, especially in times like these,” Atchity said. “But we need to be careful not to let our anxiety get the better of us. Our anxiety has an influence on everyone around us, especially children. Use conversations with your children as an opportunity to convey facts and set an emotional tone.”

Among Atchity’s suggestions: Keep busy and stay engaged in daily activities, do what you can to assist someone who is alone and don’t hesitate to seek out support.

“So, remember to breathe. Focus on what you can control. Take the recommended steps from public health officials. And don’t miss this chance to practice active kindness to all,” Atchity said.