Mental health matters are very close to me. As a survivor of childhood abuse, and subsequent mental illness in my early adulthood, I’m keenly aware of just how badly we as a society are failing those who live with these invisible struggles. Several years ago I went into long term recovery from a series of mental health crises, but only because a few critical components came together for me at the last minute: namely Social Security Disability Insurance, and some support from family. That combination was so healing for me, I’m now off of the SSDI, and taking up new challenges and adventures that I never would have thought were possible before.
My work now is a reflection of how fortunate I was: I do not accept that those odds are the best we can do.
It’s more than gaps in healthcare coverage, or the fact that mental health and physical health are not always treated equally, though those are both major hurdles. Being underpaid and overworked is a mental health risk. Being insecure in housing, transportation, or proper nutrition is a mental health risk. Not feeling safe in one’s home or workplace is a mental health risk. Having a criminal record is a mental health risk. Being in a demographic that is marginalized in our society is a mental health risk.
It is my goal, as a future representative, to embrace a trauma informed perspective in my efforts to build a solid foundation in life for every Coloradan.