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Opinion: Mental health can be a powerful concern in Colorado’s mountains

The mountain West has earned the morbid nickname of “the suicide belt” because our rate of suicide is drastically higher than the national average.

Opinion Columns
2:55 AM MDT

Death rates for pregnant Colorado women have doubled since 2008. Here’s how the state is trying to fix it.

A package of proposed laws headed toward passage aims to prevent deaths among pregnant women and create better outcomes for babies.


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

If a child comes to my ER having swallowed a bottle of Tylenol, I can give them medicine to help undo the harm. I couldn’t undo the bullet sitting in my 13-year-old patient's brain.

Opinion Columns

Colorado Democrats will pursue mandatory waiting period for gun buyers, safe-storage measure in 2021

The legislation is modeled after policies passed in other states, but it's sure to draw Republican objections

Politics and Government

On Edge: In the wake of furloughs, closings, suicides, a Breckenridge businessman searches for balance

You don’t return to normal, or what passes for it, when kids in your town kill themselves, Dick Carleton says.


Youth suicides on the Eastern Plains spark political protest, “7 is too many” social media campaign

Teens are criticizing Gov. Polis’ policies, but mental health experts say it’s too simple to blame the suicide deaths solely on the pandemic


On Edge: In a rural Eastern Plains community plagued by drought, stigma won’t be easy to overcome

Week after rainless week throughout the growing season has wounded not just local farmland, but also the emotional landscape


Colorado agency erred in dumping a mental health program for doctors, judge rules

An administrative law ruling says DORA’s new contract is void. But the case that has riled the state’s physicians is far from over.

Politics and Government

Colorado’s splintered mental health system has had tragic failures. The state is taking the first step to fix it.

A task force ordered by Gov. Jared Polis calls for creating a new Behavioral Health Administration, but the plan has no new funding

Wave of suicides in northwest Colorado part of “toxic stress” from coronavirus, experts say

Nine people have died by suicide so far this year, five in the past month in a region that has been fighting to expand mental health care and break down stigma around treatment


Doctors are overwhelmed by coronavirus. So why did Colorado officials just end a 30-year contract with a peer health program?

The state Department of Regulatory Agencies approved a contract for a new program without telling the Colorado Medical Board, setting off a firestorm of complaints from doctors across the state.


Colorado, like other states, trims health programs amid health crisis

Between the challenges of the pandemic, the social unrest and the economic crisis, mental health providers are warning that the need for behavioral health services is growing. Yet faced with budgetary shortfalls, Colorado is cutting spending.


Coronavirus-related calls are dominating Colorado’s mental health crisis hotline

Calls to the mental health line have spiked in the past month, but tips to Safe2Tell are down. It’s too soon to know whether the pandemic will result in more suicides, say experts.


For war-weary veterans, a dose of “adventure therapy” can help them ski off the war

A four-day mission took veterans across the Sneffels Range and through “Break-a-Bone Meadow” to help deal with their demons. “This can be a cathedral for people,” one vet said.


As the teen mental health epidemic escalates, emergency rooms get innovative and a for-profit hospital sees an opening

A statewide review is attempting to pinpoint the gaps in care as one study finds kids go out of network up to 7 times more often for mental health care.


Opinion: Teen suicide has become normalized in our state. This is a crisis.

Opinion Columns

A Snapchat video of a 13-year-old boy’s suicide roiled a Colorado town — and left police chasing social media ghosts

Multiple middle-schoolers in the small community of Dacono reported watching a video of Von Mercado's death — that then vanished from their phones — frustrating officials and leading to a new state law.


Shifting points of view introduce a suicide, a disappearance and set the stage for drama

In Cynthia Swanson's "The Glass Forest," we get the first scent of mystery surrounding a tragedy bound to play out in betrayal

Book Excerpts

For farmers in a mental health crisis, it’s often tough to seek help. A Colorado program aims to begin conversations.

Amid uncertainties over tariffs and declining income, suicides are increasing in Colorado and rates are higher in rural areas than in urban environments


Denver and other cities are looking to take cops out of mental health-related 911 rescues

Denver is one of at least eight cities considering an Oregon program called Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets to decriminalize and improve the treatment of people with severe mental illness

Crime and Courts
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