It's Time to Fix Colorado's Mental Health System for Children and Youth

The fragmentation of children’s mental health care in Colorado leads to a lack of coordination, accountability, and flexibility so that children miss early intervention services, receive duplicated support, and need more costly treatments in the long run.

Today in Colorado, suicide is the leading cause of death for children ages 10-24. An estimated 1 out of 6 teens has a diagnosable mental health condition. According to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, 17% of high school students seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, 13% made a suicide plan, and 7% made a suicide attempt.

Prevention, early identification, early intervention and treatment of these conditions is needed now more than ever. Our mental health system is facing considerable challenges, and the status quo is not working for young people in our state. Together we have the power to make things better.

One thing we can do right now to ensure that children and youth in Colorado have access to mental health resources is to tell our state legislators that now is the time to improve our mental health system.

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“I had experienced social media-related bullying for several years and was dealing with anxiety from it. I felt overwhelmed and isolated to the point where I contemplated taking my own life. Today, with the right resources and support of my loved ones, I am in a better place.” — Olivia

“My son was in preschool when he started displaying signs of mental health challenges. At the preschool owner’s urging, we had him tested and followed all the available channels, and have continued our efforts throughout his elementary years. He’s 13 now—and if we could’ve caught him at six or even eight, we could’ve prevented the hospitalizations, the exorbitant costs and all the emotional pain he endured. Looking back, I see the many ways our state’s mental health system could’ve better supported my family.”— Leslie

News & Blog

Final Week of Session – Legislative Update for Youth Mental Health

As we enter the last week of the legislative session, we would like to give an update on the bills that address the challenges... READ MORE

Experts Discuss the Need for Additional Mental Resources for Young People

3.27.2019 Heidi Baskfield, VP of Population Health and Advocacy at Children's Hospital Colorado and child psychologist Jenna Glover talk about Senate Bill 195 and... READ MORE

Bill Would Standardize Mental Health Screenings for Youth

3.27.2019 Kari Eckert lost her son, Robbie, in October of last year to suicide. She's pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 195 which... READ MORE

About Us

Action on Youth Mental Health is a coalition committed to working with partners across the state on solutions that address crucial challenges facing children. Colorado is in a state of crisis when it comes to mental health and suicide among youth. Advancing transformational policy proposals in 2019 has the potential to drastically improve our mental health system immediately. Our kids cannot wait — their futures are on the line.