Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Help is available to teens in crisis — if they know who to call

Youth are grieving. With the death of relatives, friends — and above all, expectations — teens are feeling the loss brought by the pandemic. Without appropriate support systems, our youth are perpetually remaining in crisis. I have experienced first-hand the strain on our community’s mental health. Ranging from addiction to suicide attempts to eating disorders, […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: If you have kids and guns in your home, please talk to your children. I wish I had.

Our kids are returning to school in the midst of not only a lingering pandemic but also a mental health crisis and record gun sales, a potentially deadly mix that we as parents must acknowledge. This summer, Children’s Hospital Colorado issued its first state of emergency for pediatric mental health in its 113-year history, warning, […]

Posted inColoradans, Health, News, Politics and Government

Youth mental health was front and center in Colorado’s legislative session. But the work is only a “down payment.”

Hospital emergency departments are flooded with children who’ve just attempted suicide. Kids in need of residential treatment for severe depression are sent out of state because Colorado’s beds are full. And suicide became the leading cause of death for youth in this state five years ago. So what are Colorado policymakers doing about it?  The […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: A emergency pediatrician on why a law on safe storage of guns would save young lives

As a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Children’s Hospital Colorado, I witness tragedy every day. Firearm injuries are the second leading cause of death in kids and are some of the most gut-wrenching cases we see in the ER. And when you combine a suicide attempt with a gun, the devastation is unbearable. Over half […]

Posted inColoradans, Education, Health, News

On Edge: After wanting to die, an Aurora teen is now learning to live

Navee Essien has grown up keenly aware of her gifts. More times than she can count, people have reminded the senior at Aurora’s Rangeview High how fortunate she is to have a close family and strong support system, academic and athletic talent, ease making friends, and the kind of smarts, beauty and confidence that make […]

Posted inHealth

On Edge: Colorado’s behavioral health chief opens up about his own severe depression

Some words fail us, and for Robert Werthwein, “depression” is one of them. The 41-year-old director of Colorado’s Behavioral Health Office prefers to say “everything turned to complete shit” when his identical twin, Ryan, died of a brain tumor a week before their 15th birthdays, and that his life pretty much sucked for the decade […]