Children’s Hospital Colorado declares mental health state of emergency as suicide attempts rise


Tamara Pogue, previously the CEO of Peak Well being Alliance, speaks throughout a Colorado well being care discussion board Feb. 21, 2020, on the Summit County Group and Senior Middle in Frisco. In her new function as a Summit County commissioner, Pogue is advocating for higher funding for psychological well being care.
Photograph by Liz Copan / Summit Day by day archives

DENVER — Colorado youngsters are trying suicide and arriving in emergency rooms in psychiatric disaster at ranges by no means seen on this state, whereas abuse of alcohol and medicines to deal with psychological well being struggles can be on the rise.

The youth psychological well being disaster has escalated to the purpose this spring that hospital beds are full and extra mother and father are sending youngsters out of state for remedy, in accordance with a Youngsters’s Hospital Colorado panel of specialists who despatched up a flare for assist Tuesday. The hospital system, with a important campus in Aurora in addition to branches in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch and Broomfield, declared a “pediatric psychological well being state of emergency.”

In Summit County, the place the neighborhood is fed up after mourning many youth suicides lately, together with the dying of an 11-year-old in 2017, residents pay right into a psychological well being fund that funds remedy for anybody who wants it however can’t afford it. As of April, the county was paying for remedy for 87 youngsters. That’s extra psychological well being vouchers than have been issued for youths in all of 2020, stated county Commissioner Tamara Pogue.

The fund generates about $2 million annually, which isn’t practically sufficient to pay for the demand, Pogue stated. She known as on Gov. Jared Polis’ administration to supply an in depth roadmap for rural communities to construct up their very own psychological well being methods — from consuming dysfunction and substance abuse remedy to backed psychological well being remedy.

“Until we make even deeper and extra important investments, … we are going to proceed to lose extra youngsters,” she stated. “That’s one thing that I merely can’t tolerate for my neighborhood or any neighborhood in Colorado.”

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