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If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to take care of ourselves. After a traumatic year that included a global pandemic and a reckoning with systemic racism, experts in Colorado expect to see an increase in the number of Coloradans in need mental health treatment. “The coronavirus crisis has brought with it all kinds of grief, loneliness, disengagement, and stress that have disrupted the lives of Coloradans,” says Vincent Atchity, president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, a mental health advocacy group in Denver. “The challenges of this last year will likely continue to affect us for some time to come.”
Mental Health America, a Virginia-based nonprofit, ranked Colorado as one of the worst states when it comes to the number of people struggling with mental health issues, as well as for resources available to aid those folks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty organizations trying to help, especially with so many of us going through it more than a year into isolation. “Please remember, it is okay to not be okay,” Atchity says. “That’s to be expected. We’re going through a hard time.”
To help—and in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month—we rounded up local resources for anyone in your life (including yourself) who needs some extra support right now.
If You Are Unsure of What Type of Help You Need…
The Mental Health Center of Denver has several facilities including the Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being and the Adult Recovery Center. Jen Jackson, the assistant program manager for Adult Access Services at the center, says the pandemic disrupted everyone from all walks of life. “The loss, fear, social isolation, and anxiety that many of us experienced made more people realize that mental health impacts all of us.” So it’s crucial that services reach everyone, from infants to adults. To do so, the Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being offers outpatient care, therapy services for caregivers, guardians, and parents, as well as specific services for Denver’s Latino and Hispanic communities.
Get Help: Call 303-504-7900 to learn more about programs and to access services. The Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being at 3401 Eudora St is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. The Adult Recovery Center at 4455 E 12th Ave is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
If You’re Struggling After Childbirth…
The Colorado chapter of Postpartum Support International helps women living with perinatal mood disorder (also known as postpartum depression) and anxiety, which the organization says is the number one medical complication of childbirth. The nonprofit’s volunteer coordinators help women and their families find therapists, medication, or a local support group.
Get Help: To connect with a coordinator near you, visit the Colorado chapter’s website here.
If You’re Displaced in Denver…
You might run into Wellness Winnie, a mobile mental health RV providing resources and assistance to underserved regions like Montbello and west Denver. From behavioral health screenings and referrals to narcan distribution, Wellness Winnie is staffed by mental health professionals and those experienced with recovery and mental well-being.
Get Help: You can find the mobile unit’s location schedule here.
If You Want to Help Others…
Maybe you feel okay, but there could be others around you who are struggling and in need of some critical support. Mental Health First Aid offers courses for those who want to know how to help someone in a mental health crisis. “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” says Paige Warren, the coordinator for Mental Health First Aid. “When you take the course, you don’t end up a therapist, but you end up with the resources and tools to help someone out and help until a professional help arrives, or until the crisis resolves.” The classes offered cover everything from depression to dementia.
Go Help: This May, the virtual Mental Health First Aid courses are free (there’s a $15 deposit that is returned at the completion of the course). Sign up here.
If You Need Help Immediately…
The Colorado Crisis Center is open all day, every day. Whether you are dealing with feelings of isolation and depression, suicidal thoughts, or substance use problems, the facility—as well as any of its nine walk-in clinics across the state—have a number of professionals that can offer help, guidance, and resources.
Get Help: If you or someone you know needs help, call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255. Or find your nearest walk-in clinic here.
If You Are Struggling with Substance Abuse…
The AllHealth Network offers both walk-in crisis services and extensive outpatient treatment for people dealing with substance abuse problems, including opioid addiction, at multiple locations in Denver’s southern suburbs.
Get Help: Find a location or complete an e-referral online to start discussing options for care.
If You Are Dealing with an Eating Disorder…
The Eating Disorder Foundation has helped educate Coloradans on eating disorders since 2003. While the organization’s Uptown location is not a treatment center, anyone can walk in to receive no-cost consultations and get referrals for care. The foundation also offers support groups, including for family members and friends of people suffering from eating disorders.
Get Help: The Eating Disorder Foundation at 1901 E 20th Ave. is open Tuesday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
If You Want an Easy Way to Connect with a Therapist…
Use Therapeasy, a digital tool created here in Colorado to help match you with a therapist. Simply fill out a questionnaire that details your needs, and the service matches you with a mental health provider near you who is best suited to help.
Get Help: Get started at therapeasy.co/home.
For more resources and information about how to deal with various mental health problems at the Colorado Department of Human Services behavioral health page.