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Teens speak openly about mental health struggles for Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month
Posted at 11:32 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 13:32:16-04

DENVER — University of Northern Colorado student Jordan Yates was 13 when she started noticing she was feeling more tired, irritable, and struggling in school for the first time. It might have seemed like normal teenage issues,  but when she Googled her symptoms, she realized something.

"I said, 'Mom I think I have depression,'" the 19-year-old told her mother.

Her mom was immediately supportive. Jordan got medication and counseling. Now, as a college student, she's learned to cope with down days.

But for many teens, mental health is a mystery.

"I think especially young people can't often identify that in themselves and they need other people to look in and say, 'These are the symptoms you're feeling; we should get you help,'" Jordan said.

Mental Health Colorado says half of mental health issues surface before a person is 14 years old. This month, health agencies around Colorado are pushing for open talk about mental health and the recognition that we all struggle sometimes.

"Sometimes we have good mental health and some days we have poor mental health," said Patty Boyd with the Tri-County Health Department. 

Agencies are encouraging Coloradans to visit the website "Let's Talk Colorado" for information, resources, and a survey that can help you discover your own biases about mental health.