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Colorado Community Media, in partnership with Douglas County Libraries and the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative, will present a series of public forums, “Time to Talk,” on mental health in Douglas County.
The first forum, April 26, will feature keynote speaker Andrew Romanoff, CEO of Mental Health Colorado, who will focus on mental health and youth.
Free to the public, the forum will be held at the Lone Tree Library, 10055 Library Way in Lone Tree, from 7 to 9 p.m.
MORE: Details about the forum, and about the "Time to Talk" story series
Romanoff said he is eager to join this conversation in Douglas County and grateful for the opportunity.
“For my family—like thousands of others—access to mental health care is literally a matter of life or death,” Romanoff said. “Each year, more than one million Coloradans experience a mental health or substance-use disorder, yet only half get the care they need. We ought to expand coverage, reduce costs and shatter the stigma that still stops so many people from seeking mental health care in the first place.
During the forum, Romanoff said he will focus on the value of prevention and early intervention.
“Allowing a decade to pass between the onset of symptoms and the arrival of treatment is a recipe for disaster,” he said.
The two-hour forum will also feature Kristen Torres, a Colorado State University student and a local high school graduate, who will share her personal mental health story about depression and how those struggles led her to become a mental health advocate and stigma fighter.
Another guest speaker is Kirstie June, a student leader from Chaparral High School who will talk about her three-year struggle with an eating disorder and how she has learned to realize her strengths to live a healthier life.
To sign up for the free event, visit dclibaries.org. For more information on the “Time to Talk” series, visit the website at coloradocommunitymedia.com/TimeToTalk.
The forum is one part of an in-depth project on mental health issues in Douglas County. The eight-part series focuses on the state of mental health and how it is affecting youths, seniors, families, workplaces and the law enforcement system.
“One in five people in the U.S. live with some form of mental illness,” said Ann Macari Healey, executive editor of CCM.
“That means we all most likely know someone experiencing that challenge. As a community, it’s important not only to understand the struggles with empathy and caring — and without judgment — but also to provide connections to resources and be an advocate for programs and laws that support mental health programs. We hope that our series and forums on the state of mental health in Douglas County will help extend the conversation in a way that makes a positive difference in our community.”
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