In the News

In the News

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

Three years in, a Denver venture to invest in people experiencing homelessness shows promise

Denverite | November 14, 2019

City officials are celebrating the latest report from independent researchers who see promise in Denver’s experiment to keep people in housing and out of jail cells and emergency rooms.

The researchers also reminded the Hancock administration that Denver’s camping ban remains part of the conversation about homelessness in the city.

Click here to read the full story.

Study: Denver’s supportive housing program is helping the homeless break free from the jail cycle

Colorado Politics | November 12, 2019

A new study shows that Denver’s efforts to expand housing through its Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond (SIB) Initiative is beginning to pay off for the city, its homeless and the investors who are banking on the social impact.

The program intends to help people who often cycle in and out of jail, detox and emergency medical facilities — namely those struggling with chronic homelessness, substance use and mental health issues. Being trapped in that cycle not only can have negative impacts on those within it; it can also come at a high cost to taxpayers.

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IN FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND COLLABORATION, MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR MEETS PEOPLE ‘EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE’

RTD Denver | November 6, 2019

For a few tense moments on a recent fall morning, the situation at an RTD bus stop looked complicated.

A woman waiting for a bus was agitated and yelling at anyone who would listen. Other riders appeared bewildered and intimidated. The bus operator wondered whether to choose between declining a rider or inconveniencing all the other passengers. Security personnel thought the woman should cool off away from public transit.

Click here to read the full story.

Police Team Up With Social Workers To Help Those In Crisis

CBS4 | November 5, 2019

Police in Denver are teaming up with social workers to help those in need. The partnership has helped nearly 2,000 people since it debuted last year.

The Crisis Intervention Unit works by helping people who are struggling with mental health issues, treating them as patients instead of criminals, from the very first encounter.

Click here to read the full story.

Treating people as patients: Denver police’s partnership with mental health professionals is working, it says

Colorado Politics | October 31, 2019

It may seem like an unlikely duo, but the odds of seeing a social worker riding shotgun in the patrol car of a Denver police officer are growing.

Since 2016, the Denver Police Department has worked side-by-side with behavioral health clinicians through its Crisis Intervention Response Unit to co-respond to calls that involve a person experiencing mental distress and treat them more like a patient rather than a prisoner.

Click here to read the full story.

Checking in: The partnership between social workers and Denver police is getting results

Denverite | October 23, 2019

It sounds like the makings of a police buddy comedy: police officers being assigned a partner whose job is to be a sensitive, caring presence concerned with a suspect’s emotional state.

But it’s very serious. Since 2016, Denver cops have been pairing up with behavioral health professionals who have an eye for and expertise in people experiencing mental distress. At first, assigning a social worker to cruise around with officers included a lot of averted eye contact during morning roll call.

Click here to read the full story.

It's More Important Than Ever To Remove the Stigma Around Latinx Mental Health

The Oprah Magazine | October 18, 2019

When it comes to seeking mental health care, the Latinx community has always struggled with stigma—both in and outside of the United States. The reasons are as varied as our our cultures’ pressure due to machismo, a heavy reliance on faith versus therapy, and a general lack of education when it comes to what psychology and psychiatry can do for us. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the financial and language barriers that cause many to view therapy as a “waste of money” or “something for white people.”

Click here to read the full story.

‘You Don’t Choose That Life’: Mental Health Center Of Denver Helps People Break Cycle Of Homelessness

CBS4 Denver | September 4, 2019

The cycle of homelessness is hard to break, no one knows this better than Leannan Scott. The Iowa-native has been chronically homeless for years. She sold her viola to buy a bus ticket to Denver, hoping for better life, but was only met with disappointment. Until she found the Mental Health Center of Denver.

Click here to read the full story.

Mental Health Center of Denver Joins Catalyst HTI

Catalyst HTI | June 20, 2019

Food was adventure for four-month-old Senna Lopez, who tried fresh-squeezed orange juice — reacting with a gentle smile — at the Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being’s annual fish fry.

Food was new acquaintances for Jan Garduno, who lives near the airport but comes regularly for yoga classes and other activities at the Northeast Park Hill facility of the Mental Health Center of Denver. She sat down with three strangers Wednesday evening to dig into fish that just a day earlier had been swimming in the tanks in the Dahlia campus’s aquaponics greenhouse.

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For everyone at the Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being’s annual fish fry, food was healing

Denverite | June 20, 2019

Food was adventure for four-month-old Senna Lopez, who tried fresh-squeezed orange juice — reacting with a gentle smile — at the Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being’s annual fish fry.

Food was new acquaintances for Jan Garduno, who lives near the airport but comes regularly for yoga classes and other activities at the Northeast Park Hill facility of the Mental Health Center of Denver. She sat down with three strangers Wednesday evening to dig into fish that just a day earlier had been swimming in the tanks in the Dahlia campus’s aquaponics greenhouse.

Click here to read the full story.

Could dirt be the answer to treating PTSD?

9News | June 12, 2019

A new study from the University of Colorado Boulder found a certain type of bacteria in soil helps reduce stress and overall, could make you happier.

Previous studies around the world have come to similar conclusions, but CU’s research may be the first step to a stress immunization for first responders and solders.

“What we’d like to do is look at effects in individuals that have already experienced trauma,” Associate Professor in Integrative Physiology at CU Boulder Christopher Lowry said. “[We could] either treat it immediately after trauma or treat it after developmental PTSD symptoms and see if it could also be beneficial at those times.”

Click here to read the full story.

Community groups will begin taking on 911 calls and low-level cases from the Denver DA

Denverite | June 10, 2019

While Denverites were grilling out on Memorial Day weekend, a delegation from the city was in Eugene, Oregon, riding along with a civilian-led team who take specific 911 calls instead of local police.

The Oregon program is called Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, known simply as CAHOOTS. Teams of mental health workers and EMTs respond to emergencies that aren’t criminal matters, like overdoses and situations when people might be likely to hurt themselves. It’s been in operation there for 30 years, and now stakeholders are working to bring the program to Denver.

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Denver voted to keep its camping ban. So what is Colorado actually doing to end homelessness?

The Colorado Sun | June 5, 2019

The building is wrapped like a quilt, a lattice of lavender, blue and yellow paint. Horizontal windows cast sunlight down the corridors. And in the courtyard, natural light filters through the wooden slats of a pergola.

The northwest Denver homeless shelter’s structure is “trauma-informed,” same as the staff. When a resident stumbles in life or breaks the rules, case managers don’t ask “Why are you doing that?” They say, “What has happened to you?” It’s a place that accounts for the trauma of a person’s past, including the trauma of living on the streets.

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How to Help a Friend In a Mental Health Crisis

Men's Health Magazine | June 5, 2019

Midway through the morning session of Mental Health First Aid, a course at the Mental Health Center of Denver, my instructor asks me to turn to one of my tablemates, look them in the eye, and ask a simple question: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Not “hurting yourself,” because the semantics will work against you. “Killing yourself.” Simple, direct, straight-faced.

I fail. I ask the question with an uncomfortable laugh and a half smile. It turns out that question is really, really hard to ask, even when you’re interrogating a non-suicidal stranger in a training exercise who knows it’s coming.

Click here to read the full story.

Mental Health Center of Denver Is Using VR Technology to Bridge the Care Gap in Behavioral Health

Inside Digital Health | June 3, 2019

When it comes to bridging the gap in services available to patients, there is perhaps no area more in need of innovation than mental health services — particularly in overcoming the significant barriers to accessing and participating in therapy faced by many patients. Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) is a safety-net mental health provider for the Colorado community, servicing 20,000 patients this past April alone. I spoke with MHCD’s Wes Williams, Ph.D., about programs in virtual reality (VR) that could help the center reach more patients and even enable more patients to succeed in existing programs.

Click here to read the full story.

Life in Colorado: May is Mental Health Month

PodBean | May 25, 2019

May is national Mental Health Month. This week we sit down with JoAnn Toney from Mental Health Center of Denver. We talk about the resources available and examine good mental health.

Click here to listen to the full story.

9News at the 9Health Fair on Facebook Live

9News | May 17, 2019

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and today 9Health Fair is talking about mental health resources in Colorado for teens and young adults. They're with Kimberlee Bow MA LPC from Second Wind Fund, Inc. and Darrin Kessler LPC from Mental Health Center of Denver.

Click here to watch the full story.

At the intersection of architecture and mental health: trauma-informed design

Denverite | April 29, 2019

A Sanderson Apartments tenant just escaping homelessness might not be ready to sleep inside. Residents at the complex developed and run by the nonprofit Mental Health Center of Denver have a choice: a courtyard open to the sky behind a high fence along Federal Boulevard.

Architect Patrick Lee included the courtyard after the mental health center said it had a very specific vision for Sanderson, which opened in the summer of 2017 in Mar Lee and is part of a program to house and provide services for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.

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Denver Public Schools addresses students' needs after metro area closure

The Washington Park Profile | April 19, 2019

After a threat caused schools around the Front Range to close for a day, Denver Public Schools and mental health providers turned their focus to the needs of students.

DPS joined other districts across the state and closed its schools on April 17, following a threat from 18-year-old Florida resident Sol Pais. The FBI reported that Pais was “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shooting, which happened on April 20, 1999. Following a manhunt, Pais was found dead near Mount Evans that same day.

Click here to read the full story.

Join the Mental Health Center of Denver for “Beyond the Most Livable City: Writing the Story of Well-Being Innovation”

YourHub | April 19, 2019

How can you improve your well-being through innovations that are being developed right here in Colorado? The Mental Health Center of Denver is hosting a free reception with virtual reality demonstrations and the latest well-being apps, and a thought leader discussion exploring how well-being innovation can advance healthcare accessibility and affordability.

Click here to read the full story.

By law, mental health benefits are supposed to be as good as medical coverage. In practice, that’s not happening.

The Colorado Sun | March 27, 2019

Like most dads, John Cooke would have done anything to save his daughter.  He was lucky he had the money. To make her well, to make his teenager want to live and stop planning her suicide, Cooke and his wife would end up paying $150,000. With each denial from the family’s insurance company, the Cookes wrote another check. When the company deemed it no longer “medically necessary” for their teenager to stay in a residential treatment center in Wisconsin, or another center in Utah, the Cookes paid out of pocket until the doctors said she was well enough to come home.

Click here to read the full story.

Starting with Stability: How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle

Urban Institute | March 20, 2019

Maria* is finally starting to feel at home. After living on the streets for eight years and a brief stint in a halfway house, she now has a permanent home in the Sanderson Apartments in south Denver. With her brother’s help, she’s starting to decorate her one-bedroom apartment with personal touches: a gold lamp with a pink bow hugging the shade, a white Christmas tree that hangs from the ceiling, an open Bible resting on a stool.

“I love my life, and I love myself, and I love my family,” she said, beaming. “And I found myself, found out who I am, where I belong.”

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‘Refilling your cup’ can help keep stress at bay

The Profile | March 7, 2019

I love my job as an editor. But there are days when I feel buried in emails, torn between multiple projects as I navigate the logistics of putting out two monthly papers.

Stress is a part of everyone’s life, no ifs, ands or buts about it. What’s important is to make sure you’re giving time back to yourself — or as Katherine Frank with the Healthy Living Team at the Mental Health Center of Denver puts it: “You’re refilling your cup.”

Click here to read the full story.

To Fund Mental Health Care, States and Cities Raise Taxes

Governing | February 1, 2019

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to make mental health care accessible to everyone. The law mandated “parity” -- that insurance companies must cover mental health services, including substance abuse treatment, on par with medical and surgical care. But the goal hasn’t been realized. Loopholes in the ACA and other federal laws allowed some plans to limit or exclude mental and behavioral health coverage. Oversight and enforcement of the mandates have been inconsistent. And, of course, millions of Americans remain without health coverage.

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Local program focuses on mental health for infants and caregivers

9News | January 25, 2019

DENVER — There were two things missing from Kaylei Hinkson's life: a personality of her own and the opportunity to just be a kid.

But that all changed after Kaylei was treated at Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being. Kaylei was part of the center's Right Start for Infant Mental Health, a program that treats children ages birth to 5 years when there are concerns about emotions, behavior or development.

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DRY JANUARY: A LOOK AT THE RELATIONSHIP QUEER PEOPLE HAVE WITH ALCOHOL

OUTFRONT | January 16, 2019

Generally, for the average person, admitting you have a problem is very difficult. Even though I think we have made significant strides in how the general population views behavioral health issues, we still have a long way to go. In my own situation, admitting that I had a problem was very difficult.”

Steven Haden, a psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner with the Mental Health Center of Denver, has been sober for 13 years. While working in New York City, following graduate school at New York University, he developed a substance use disorder and had some complications with depression.

Click here to read the full story.