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Feb 28, 2019

Bill to let Coloradans with mental health disorders create advance orders headed to Polis' desk

By: Conrad Swanson

A bill that would allow those with behavioral or mental health disorders to create an advance medical plan for possible future crises is now in the hands of Gov. Jared Polis.

Colorado’s Senate approved House Bill 1044 — co-sponsored there by Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora — Wednesday on a third and final vote. The House approved the measure at the end of January.

The Gazette
Feb 28, 2019

Legislature passes bill creating advance orders for people with mental illness

By: Conrad Swanson

A bill allowing those with behavioral or mental health disorders to create an advance medical plan for future crises went to Gov. Jared Polis' desk Wednesday.

The Colorado Senate approved House Bill 1044, by Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Sen. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora. The House had approved it in January.

The measure allows adults to write advance medical orders on the type of treatment they prefer and to establish a set of procedures in case they can't provide consent or make their own decisions.

Feb 11, 2019


By: Kara Mason

It was her freshman year of high school that John Britz and his wife began to realize that something worrisome about their daughter.

Her grades were good and she was a star athlete at her high school in metro Denver, but she shunned friends and social activities.

Then two months before she graduated high school, she made her first suicide attempt. All together there were three, Britz said.

“I was downstairs, working in my office,” he said. “She came running down the stairs. She threw a bottle of fingernail polish remover.”

Jan 31, 2019

A Marijuana Tax Sparked Eagle County's Mental Health Care Overhaul. Is It Working?

By: Matt Bloom

It's 9 a.m. and the Eagle County paramedics building is already bustling with activity. The sheriff's department just called. They need help with a potentially suicidal person.

A group of four mental health crisis clinicians huddles around a conference table cluttered with laptops and coffee mugs. They're discussing the morning's situation.

Craig Press
Feb 28, 2019

Survey of youth substance use in Colorado shows mixed results

By: Sasha Nelson

Newly released research seeks to better understand the attitudes and behaviors surrounding substance use by youth.

The results of a 2018 survey of Colorado youth, commissioned by Rise Above Colorado — a statewide, nonprofit that empowers teens to live free of drug misuse and addiction — and released Jan. 22, give youth a mixed report card for their perception of the potential harm of substances. At the same time, however, the results offer hope for prevention, experts conclude.

Jan 14, 2019

New report by Colorado Attorney General analyzes youth suicide

By: Colleen Sikora

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado has regularly ranked in the top 10 states for high suicide rates and El Paso County has been studied for having some of the highest rates in the state.

A report released earlier this month by Colorado's previous Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, says it's a complex issue.

But their findings show some contributing factors in youth suicide are pressure and anxiety about failing, lack of connections to adults and social media.

Jan 18, 2019

Should people in crisis have guns? States look to limit their access

By: Leigh Paterson

Judy Amabile has a crumpled sleeping bag laid out on the porch of her bright, beautiful home in downtown Boulder, Colorado.

“My son isn’t supposed to come in the house when he’s been drinking. That’s why we have this sleeping bag out here,” she explained. “Anybody else would look at that and think uh, what? But for us it’s like…That’s life.”

Denver Post
Jan 03, 2019

Pressure in school, social media among risk factors contributing to Colorado’s youth suicide crisis, report finds

By: Jessica Seaman

The pressure placed on children and teenagers to perform well in school and extracurricular activities, along with the anxiety it creates regarding failure, are among the leading risk factors contributing to the growing number of youth suicides in Colorado, according to a new report.

The 87-page report, released Thursday by Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, found that children and teenagers have little time to decompress and get no break from the “bell-to-bell instruction” in schools and other activities.

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.