In the News

In the News

Watch & Read about Mental Health Center of Denver in the news.

8 ways to handle the anxiety that follows public violence all too familiar in Colorado

The Colorado Sun | March 26, 2021

Are you suddenly rethinking all of your daily routines, and wondering just how many could be disrupted by violence? Unfortunately, that’s normal.

Does a mundane trip to the grocery store suddenly open doors to fear and dread? Again, that is our new reality. With Colorado now having seen mass shootings at schools, at entertainment centers, at grocery stores, it is impossible to entirely escape those thoughts.

That does not mean there is nothing you can do with the feelings. Professionals who themselves have lived through multiple violent Colorado tragedies have recommendations on how to cope with traumatic events without letting them consume you. We checked in with psychiatrist Dr. Carl Clark, CEO of the large nonprofit clinical provider Mental Health Center of Denver, on common advice for their thousands of clients.

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New Mental Health Clinicians Are A Key Part Of RTD’s Changing Security System

CPR News | March 25, 2021

It was a quiet afternoon at Union Station, a calm few hours that Danielle Jones needed.

“I'm tired,” said Jones, who was on a 12-hour shift as a mental health clinician. “But I can't let that show because I'm helping people. If I get a suicide call, I have to be there for that person.”

Since May, Jones has been the sole clinician dedicated to the Regional Transportation District’s network of stations and vehicles — primarily in Denver. Now, RTD has contracted with the Mental Health Center of Denver to add three more.

"It's amazing,” she said with a tired laugh. “Because it's just been a lot, trying to navigate all of RTD. But now, thankfully, I have partners and backup.”

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MANSFIELD: Cleveland Needs STAR

Cool Cleveland | March 12, 2021

Denver is reporting early success with a program that “replaces traditional law enforcement responders with healthcare workers for some emergency calls. Previously, 911 operators in Denver only directed calls to police or fire department first responders. But the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) pilot program created a third track for directing emergency calls to a two-person team: a medic and a clinician, staffed in a van from 10am to 6pm on weekdays.”

The STAR program was launched in June of 2020 and is already reporting promising results in its first six-month progress report. Plans are underway to add more vans and personnel to the existing fleet. The program aims to provide a “person-centric mobile crisis response to community members who are experiencing problems related to mental health, depression, poverty, homelessness or substance abuse issues.”

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Jesse Ogas named 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year

9News | March 10, 2021

The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation announced the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year during its annual Leading Colorado Luncheon presented by BBVA on Wednesday.

The annual event recognizes exceptional community leadership while raising scholarship funds to ensure professionals from all sectors can develop their skills and enhance their impact in the community.

Jesse Ogas was named the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year. 

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Mayor Michael Hancock Tours New Safe Outdoor Spaces, Comes Away Impressed

CBS | March 10, 2021

According to the annual Point-of-Time Survey on Jan. 27, 2020, 4,171 people in Denver identified as unhoused, and that number as increased by as much as 60% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is one of the more complex challenges of public policy that we will ever meet,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Every person experiencing homelessness has a unique story, and needs services tailored to meet their challenges.

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‘We forgot about fun’: Here’s what the pandemic did to children’s mental health

Chalkbeat | March 9, 2021

Over the last year, 5-year-old Guillermo started biting his fingernails. When preschool activities were moved online during the pandemic, he refused to sit in front of the computer. And before his grandmother passed away from lung cancer in August, he sometimes shied away from hugging her because he thought her coughing was because of COVID-19.

“He would not go close because he would say, ‘Abuelita has germs,’” said Guillermo’s mother, Patricia Robles, who lives in Denver.

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6-Month Experiment Replacing Denver Police With Mental Health Teams Dubbed A Success

NPR | March 8, 2021

A Denver city councilmember who supports defunding police weighs new success of replacing cops with mental health teams. Six months in, the team has responded to almost 750 calls, without one arrest.

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Denver’s STAR program successfully sent mental health professionals, not police, to hundreds of calls

Fox5 New York | February 24, 2021

DENVER - Calls for changing how authorities respond to people in distress have resounded across the country amid cases such as that of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after police in Rochester put an anti-spitting hood over his head and restrained him on the ground while he was having a mental health crisis in March.

Chief Paul Pazen of the Denver Police Department said that changes that have people who specialize in mental health respond to calls that warrant such skills are just common sense.

"I saw the value of it right off the bat. If we’re talking about mental health calls for service, low-level mental health calls for service, that don’t need a police response, then let’s look and see if there are better approaches," Pazen said.

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Denver RTD hires three clinicians to assist customers experiencing mental health issues

Mass Transit | February 23, 2021

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) of Denver has hired three new mental health clinicians.

They join Danielle Jones, a certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner with the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD), who started last spring.

Anita Hoffman, LeAnne Figueroa and Mary Kent are also contracted through the MHCD and are assigned solely to RTD. This joint effort with MHCD provides support to customers who may not have access to, or knowledge of, available mental health services.

The clinicians will make contact with individuals who are exhibiting mental health issues within the city and county of Denver.

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Research shows only 1 in 3 Black adults with mental health issues receive care

Denver7 | February 17, 2021

According to research from Columbia University, Black adults are 20% more likely to experiences serious mental health problems, such as major depressive orders and generalized anxiety disorders. And, researchers say young Black adults experience higher rates of mental health problems while using mental health services than their white counterparts.

The disparity highlights the stigmatization of mental health issues in communities of color that has deterred Black men and women from seeking treatment, according to experts.

“Being a person of color and admitting that you need something is very difficult,” said Lesha Groves, a licensed therapist and the associate director of operations at the Mental Health Center of Denver.

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Denver successfully sent mental health professionals, not police, to hundreds of calls

USA Today | February 6, 2021

Another U.S. city is reporting early success with a program that replaces traditional law enforcement responders with health care workers for some emergency calls.

Previously, Denver 911 operators only directed calls to police or fire department first responders. But the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) pilot program created a third track for directing emergency calls to a two-person team: a medic and a clinician, staffed in a van from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The STAR program, which launched in June, reported promising results in its six-month progress report. The program aims to provide a "person-centric mobile crisis response" to community members who are experiencing problems related to mental health, depression, poverty, homelessness, or substance abuse issues.

Read the full story

Mental Health Center Of Denver Sees Increase In Services For Children

CBS4 Denver | February 8, 2021

There are warning signs that parents can look out for as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

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Experiencing trauma from storming of U.S. Capitol is normal — even if you weren’t there, experts say

The Denver Post | January 7, 2021

Ethan Reed, a senior at Parker’s Legend High School, was supposed to be tuned into his virtual classes Wednesday afternoon. Instead, he sat with his family glued to the TV watching a violent mob of Trump supporters break down barricades surrounding the nation’s Capitol and storm the halls of Congress.

The 17-year-old couldn’t believe what he saw. Reed, who is a youth political activist, visited Washington, D.C., in the fall of 2019 and walked the same hallowed halls that were being vandalized. He recently applied to a college near the Capitol with aspirations of going into politics.

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