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Should children be allowed to see a therapist without parental consent?

Posted: 8:01 AM, Feb 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-20 15:01:58Z
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DENVER — On Wednesday, Colorado lawmakers will consider House Bill 1120, which would allow a child as young as 12 years old to see a mental health therapist one time without parental consent.

The current law already allows teenagers 15 and older in Colorado to get a first appointment with a professional without parental notification.

The bill would extend that provision to kids 12, 13 or 14 years old.

After the first appointment, any further treatment or counseling would require parental consent. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dylan Roberts of Eagle County said sometimes that first appointment is critical.

“One, they’re getting in the door and realizing they don’t have to worry about the stigma of telling their parents," he said. "And two, they’re getting access to resources they may not have known existed."

Roberts and fellow lawmakers said they’re trying to expand mental health access and help prevent teen suicide. The CDC has reported that suicide is the number one cause of death among children 10-14 years old in Colorado.