Posted inHealth, Politics and Government

Three-digit mental health crisis line goes live this weekend. But Colorado officials are still working on area code issues.

A new three-digit number for mental health emergencies will go live in Colorado and the rest of the nation Saturday, connecting people to crisis counselors any time of day or night.  The new number, 988, is the mental health version of 911.  In Colorado, calls to 988 will get routed to the call center for […]

Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Culture, Equity, Health, News

The construction industry has a high suicide rate. Experts gathered in Denver to find a solution.

Nicholas Williams began to panic when his construction equipment malfunctioned.  He was 65 feet off the ground, and less than two months into the new job, when he became stuck in a lift basket.  When another lift basket rose up to rescue him, Williams had no choice but to jump into the other functioning piece […]

Posted inHealth, News

Ketamine is quietly helping Colorado patients with severe depression at a community mental health center

Eric Novikoff slid a mask over his eyes, covered his ears with headphones, then sunk into a brown leather chair and floated into the void.  As the ketamine took effect, the room at the Mental Health Center of Denver “disappeared.” Novikoff’s body disappeared, too. His consciousness existed in a black nothingness, a space that made […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Denver doctor helped patients with severe anorexia obtain aid-in-dying medication, spurring national ethics debate

A Denver eating disorder doctor who has helped patients with anorexia nervosa obtain aid-in-dying medication is jolting the psychiatric community and sparking an emotional, national debate about the ethics of prescribing lethal drugs for people with mental illnesses. Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, an internal medicine doctor who specializes in eating disorders, published a paper in which […]

Posted inHealth, News

Children’s Hospital hires first-ever chief of mental health after declaring state of emergency

Children’s Hospital Colorado, where the emergency department is regularly filled with suicidal kids and leaders last spring declared a mental health state of emergency, has hired its first-ever chief of mental health.  Dr. K. Ron-Li Liaw, a child psychiatrist with a background in trauma and resiliency, will lead the hospital system as it pivots to […]

Posted inNews

Tragedy often begets more tragedy. Denver’s coroner wants to break the cycle by offering families help.

The body on the table was that of a 28-year-old man. Inside an autopsy bay, professionals from the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner were trying to figure out what killed him. To the doctors and forensic pathologists who perform the valuable service of cataloging Denver’s dead, this was just another day at the office. […]

Posted inHealth, News

Colorado county leaders blast state officials over mental health, claim 69 foster kids are missing

The state system that treats children with severe mental health issues is so stretched that it’s become dangerous, Colorado’s county human services directors charged in a fiery letter to state officials. Previous efforts have failed to “shift the course of the emergency,” wrote the leaders of the Colorado Human Services Directors Association and Colorado Counties […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Class-action lawsuit alleges Colorado is failing at children’s mental health care

Colorado has lapsed on its obligation to provide mental health care for needy children, leaving them to cycle in and out of emergency rooms instead of receiving appropriate long-term care, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the state Medicaid program.  The lawsuit so far includes three anonymous plaintiffs, all teenagers who have for […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News

Westminster police told the world Armando Valdez Gonzalez stole a bag of cash and assaulted a woman. Except he didn’t.

Trouble has followed Armando Valdez Gonzalez since the day he was jailed for a crime that didn’t occur.  In early June, Westminster police linked Valdez Gonzalez to an aggravated robbery, saying he dragged a woman in her 70s with his pickup after stealing a bag of cash from her garage sale. Police arrested Valdez Gonzalez […]