DENVER – A new report on mental health care in the United States shows that Colorado is worse than most states at treating those who need help, especially kids.
The report from the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health America compared all 50 states and Washington, DC on things like prevalence of mental health issues and access to treatment and found that overall, Colorado ranks 43rd.
In terms of prevalence, data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that 19.55 percent of Colorado residents are living with some kind of mental illness, the third-highest rate in the country.
The problem is especially bad when it comes to children’s mental health. The report put Colorado in last place on a measure of kids who are dependent on drugs or alcohol, though government data show marijuana use among Colorado adolescents is on the decline.
“Our kids have some of the highest substance use disorder rates in the country,” said Mental Health Colorado President Andrew Romanoff. “Most kids are not getting screened appropriately and not getting treated effectively and they’re suffering and struggling as a result.”
While Colorado’s prevalence of mental illness is among the worst in the country, the state is doing quite a bit better when it comes to access to care.
The Mental Health America report ranked Colorado 17th for access overall and 8th in terms of the number of people with mental illness who also have insurance.
Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Colorado Crisis Services, which can be reached by calling 1-844-493-8255, by texting ‘TALK’ to 38255 or by logging on to coloradocrisisservices.org.