This is a link to the Denver Post’s article on the mental health situation in the state of Colorado. The big take aways are the lack of care that prevents mental health crisis. Colorado’s system is built mainly for crisis care. The state is not investing in a system that helps get people well but takes people into the system when there are no other options. This lack of preventative care and supportive mental health policy likely creates much greater expense down the road. Beyond the expense is the extreme amount of pain that comes from an unwillingness to deem mental health a priority.
“Colorado ranks near the bottom in per-capita psychiatric treatment beds reported by hospitals, and in the bottom half in per-capita state and federal spending on mental health.”
We can do better Colorado. The reality is that mental health should not be different from any other health issue. The stigma of mental health is what causes people to wait till it is too late to get support. Feeling depressed is no different than having a heart condition. Experiencing panic attacks is the same health issue as having a broken leg. In both cases people need professionals to provide care.
“What I want to do is normalize mental health care. Separate systems of care perpetuate that stigma,” he said. “I dispel myths quite a bit — ‘Those are the crazy people. Those are the people who shoot up our malls and kill our kids.’ We want mental health to just be another facet of health.”
I have seen in my clients struggle with mental health issues. They are not dealing with some personal choice issue. Mental health is not something you can deal with on your own. It is usually caused by brain traumas that happened at an early age. I saw this trauma working with men who suffered from childhood sexual abuse . At times some of these men could not function. Why do you have to get in a car accident or fall off a cliff for it be deemed legitimate brain malfunction? When emotional boundaries are disrupted (especially at an early age) the human brain suffers the consequences. It can be irreparable damage in some cases. It also can be healed through the same relational dynamic that caused the damage. Having a loving, caring, professional can provide new neural pathways to grow and help bring great relief to a sufferer of emotional trauma.