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Colorado News

The Colorado Sun
Nov 27, 2018

One in eight Denver residents is clinically depressed and most aren’t getting treatment, new study says

By: Jennifer Brown

Depression is so pervasive in Denver that it’s hard to wrap the mind around how many people in the city are chronically sad.

Think about it this way. Imagine every person in Denver’s four largest neighborhoods — Montbello, Hampden, Westwood and Capitol Hill. That’s about 76,000 people, near the same number of Denver residents who reported signs of clinical depression at least eight days out of the prior month.

The Colorado Sun
Nov 14, 2018

Colorado set up its mental health crisis system four years ago in response to a mass shooting. It’s about to transform.

By: Jennifer Brown

WESTMINSTER — Most people who walk in the door of a small, brick building labeled “24/7 Crisis Center” are depressed, suicidal, or experiencing audio or visual hallucinations. Others are young adults going through the first breakup of their lives, feeling so distraught they want to talk to a therapist.

Every crisis is “self-defined,” and Colorado’s 12 walk-in centers have had almost 68,000 visits since they opened four years ago.

Fox 21 News
Nov 29, 2018

Southern Colorado officers learn how to better respond to mental health calls

By: Daniela Leon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Police officers get mental health calls for service on a regular basis.

"A large percentage of the calls we get do involve some level of mental illness," said Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Curt Hassling.

Twenty-nine officers from law enforcement agencies across southern Colorado took part in a 40-hour crisis intervention training throughout the week. Denver-based actors acted out real life scenarios involving mental health, giving officers the chance to work through the call.

Sep 20, 2018

Colorado to receive $30 million over next 2 years to expand opioid treatment programs

By: Blair Miller

DENVER – Colorado will receive $30 million in federal grant money over the next two years to fight the opioid epidemic, with most of the money meant for medication-assisted treatments and the addition of new mobile health units that will be deployed in rural parts of the state.

The Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Behavioral Health will receive about $15 million each year for the next two through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response Grant program.

Sep 20, 2018

Behavioral health a blemish in Colorado's otherwise healthy reputation

By: Kevin Krug

DENVER – Colorado may be known as the healthiest state in the nation, but that designation comes with an asterisk. That asterisk is behavioral health.

When the new West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction opens later this year it will have double the number of beds of the current hospital, in part because of the vast area from which the hospital gets patients.

For more information about Mental Health First Aid classes, visit the Community Reach Center's website.

Denver Post
Sep 20, 2018

Colorado a “poster child” for mental health care failings that can lead to deadly outcomes, advocates say

By: Jackson Barnett

The recent fatal shooting of a young, unarmed Broomfield man who had a mental breakdown hours before being killed by Westminster police highlights how cracks in the mental health care system combined with under-resourced law enforcement can have deadly outcomes, mental health advocates say.

Denver Post
Sep 10, 2018

Meth makes comeback in Colorado as opioid epidemic worsens

By: The Associated Press

Recent data shows methamphetamine use made a deadly comeback across Colorado last year.

Figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show meth ranked among the fastest-growing drugs in fatalities in the state from 2016 to 2017.

The rise in meth deaths helped push Colorado’s drug fatalities above 1,000 in 2017 for the first time on record — hundreds more than the state’s traffic death toll for the year.

But heroin still ranks as the top cause of fatal overdoses in the state.

Sep 11, 2018

Colorado increasingly in contempt as more judges recognize that jail isn’t a mental health answer

Almost 300 mentally ill people across the state have been in jail for months — before being convicted of anything — because state officials say there is not enough room at the mental health hospital to treat them before they stand trial.

Some of those people, many of whom face low-level charges like trespassing, have been in a county jail cell for more than 100 days. At least one man has been there more than 200 days.

Denver Post
Sep 08, 2018

University of Denver joins fight against campus alcohol, opioid abuse with new recovery center

By: Monte Whaley

Colorado colleges and universities already fighting the ritual partying and abuse of alcohol during the first few giddy weeks of classes are now contending with the quieter but just as deadly influx of opioids on local campuses.

The overuse of opioids — high-level painkillers that include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and the illegal opioid heroin — slowly has emerged from the back alleys of America and invaded suburbs, schools and colleges, said Michael LaFarr, executive director of the University of Denver’s health and counseling center.

Denver Post
Sep 06, 2018

Colorado sues Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma over its role in opioid crisis

By: Jessica Seaman

The number of lawsuits filed by states against Purdue Pharma L.P., the maker of prescription painkiller Oxycontin, continues to grow as Colorado’s attorney general on Thursday became the latest to sue the company for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, in a statement, accused Purdue Pharma of violating the state’s consumer protection law, saying the company ignited the epidemic through “fraudulent and deceptive marketing of prescription opioids.”