Series: Time to talk about mental illness
Don’t we all know someone who is struggling with some form of mental illness or mental health challenge? Colorado Community Media has launched a series of articles and forums, entitled “Time to Talk,” on the state of mental health, specifically in Douglas County, but applying to all of us, to discuss the need to bring the issue of mental illness into everyday conversation.
Part one of our series
Our initial community forum

Shared Stories: Community forum on mental health and youth

It's time to talk about mental health. 

This is one of several forums being held in conjunction with CCM’s Time to Talk series on the state of mental health in Douglas County. They are being sponsored in partnership with Douglas County Libraries and the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative.

Join us at the Lone Tree Library, 10055 Library Way, Lone Tree, Colo., from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

The event is free but we request that you register in advance so we know how many people to prepare for by filling out this form.

Keynote:

Andrew Romanoff, CEO Mental Health Colorado, "Breaking down the barriers" 

Other presenters:

A Chaparral High School sophomore and peer leader in Sources of Strength, talking about her work in the program and challenge with an eating disorder. Learn more here and here.

Kristen Torres, a Colorado State University student and Douglas County grad, former member of the Youth Action Board of Children’s Hospital Colorado, talking about depression. Learn more here.

Exhibits:

It will also feature an interactive traveling exhibit from Children’s Youth Action Board: "Mental Health is All Our Stories." Learn more about it here.

For more information, please call 303-566-4100.

 

Time to Talk: A shared story

Growing up in Highlands Ranch, Sydney Chapin, 19, had everything she needed: a nice home where she lived with her parents and younger sister, good schools, close friends, money to pay for a tutor or therapist if she needed one. But she struggled. In second grade, she was diagnosed with anxiety, a mental health condition that runs in her family. In ninth grade, when her mother battled stage-four breast cancer and Chapin took on the role of caring for her sister, she was diagnosed with depression. She had difficulty fitting in at a new high school. Her energy declined, as did her grades.
Editorial: It’s time to talk about mental health
The hope is that the conversation will not only enable us to reach out to one another, but also help lead to some solutions and ideas that reflect the needs of our families, friends, neighbors and colleagues. In this fast-paced world, we need to care enough to slow down and take a minute to listen. If this isn’t the time to talk, then when will it be?

Time to Talk: Campaigns fight stigma that follows mental illness

Dan Jackson was at dinner with a colleague when he felt the onset of a panic attack. So he took a Xanax, prescribed by his psychiatrist to calm him. When his colleague’s tone of voice and facial expression changed as he questioned him about the medication, Jackson felt like he was being judged. “The stigma is, `There is something wrong with that person, they are on medication,’ ” Jackson, 43, said.

Time to Talk: Connecting the dots for treatment proves challenging

Knowing whom to call or where to go for mental health care can be daunting and overwhelming. “When you are mentally ill,” said William Henricks, CEO of AllHealth Network, which provides mental health services to Arapahoe and Douglas counties, “it is very difficult to connect the dots.”

Time to Talk: ‘If people are in crisis, they shouldn’t have to wait’

Jo Ann Mahoney, 34, used to be insured by Medicaid, the federal public health insurance program for low-income people. It allowed her to see a therapist for depression and anxiety. Therapy, she said, was a safe place for her to discuss her life and struggles as a mother of three young children.
Part two of our series
How to talk about mental health

Let’s Talk Colorado, launched in May, is a statewide campaign created by Tri-County Health Department and other partner organizations to combat the stigma of mental illness. In English and Spanish, Letstalkco.org defines mental health and stigma, as well as provides links to local and statewide resources.
The campaign also provides tips on how to talk about mental health, such as:
• Be nice.
• Keep in contact.
• Offer help.
• Listen.
• Keep the conversation moving.
• Don’t ignore it.

MakeItOk.org is a national campaign to combat the stigma of mental illness. On its website, visitors can learn about mental illness, answer a questionnaire on stigmatic behaviors and read about individual experiences with stigma. The campaign provides resources that can be used to teach, share, learn and speak about mental illness and stigma. Below are phrases the campaign recommends to use and to avoid when discussing mental health. Try saying:
• “Thanks for opening up to me.”
• “How can I help?”
• “I’m sorry to hear that. It must be tough.”
• “I’m here for you when you need me.”
• “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”
• “People do get better.”
• “Can I drive you to an appointment?”
• “How are you feeling today?”
• “I love you.”
Avoid saying:
• “It could be worse.”
• “Just deal with it.”
• “Snap out of it.”
• “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”
• “You may have brought this on yourself.”
• “We’ve all been there.”
• “You’ve got to pull yourself together.”
• “Maybe try thinking happier thoughts.”

Mental health calls challenge police

In the dark, early-morning hours of New Year’s Eve, Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish pleaded through the closed door of a Highlands Ranch apartment with a tenant he believed to be experiencing …
time to talk

‘All of our jails are psychiatric facilities’

At 17 years old, Michael was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He also was battling an addiction to heroin. Through his father’s private insurance, he received treatment and medication for both. In …

Mental health holds weigh liberty vs. public safety

When a person in a mental health crisis is an imminent danger to himself, herself or others, or is gravely disabled by a mental illness, mental health and law enforcement professionals may place them …
Time to Talk

Officers learn how to de-escalate situations involving mental illness

Jeff Santelli, a retired Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy who now works as a CIT trainer, suggested that CIT should be a specialized presence in law enforcement, likening it to SWAT teams. Just like SWAT officers, CIT officers require a specific skillset, Santelli said. “It’s actually a very similar analogy to CIT,” he said. “It’s a specialized training of communication and not everybody is the best communicator.”
Time to Talk

Culture shift affects jail population

Law enforcement and mental health experts point to a culture shift in the approach to mental health treatment in the 1960s for the drastic rise in inmates with mental illness. In 1963, President John …

Checkups mean ‘I’m more likely to stay sober’

Wearing an orange T-shirt and pants, Samuel Cardona sat at a round table in a small glass-walled room of the Douglas County jail, as he talked to a reporter. It was an afternoon in January. He had …
Part three of our series
Where to get help

The Douglas County Mental Health Initiative

Supported by the Douglas County Commissioners, in response to several tragic mental health related incidents, the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative has worked to unite community partners to address unmet mental health needs, connect people to mental health services and prevent those in need from falling through the cracks of the mental health system.

amosbach@douglas.co.us

303-660-7342

100 Third Street

Castle Rock, CO 80104

Click here to go to their web site

Let's talk Colorado

The goal of the Let’s Talk Colorado media campaign is to initiate an inclusive conversation. All Coloradans benefit when we learn to discuss our mental health, and those of us who need treatment are more likely to seek it when we all agree that mental health is everyone’s responsibility.

LetsTalkCO@tchd.org

Spanish language web site. 

English language web site.

Our Papers

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