Time to Talk
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Time to Talk: Sharing concerns about social media

Whenever she has free time, Jayden Parks pulls out her phone and checks Instagram or Snapchat. She scrolls through photos, comparing herself to other teens portraying what seem to be perfect lives. … more

Cyberbullying can take lasting toll on teens

Camryn Cowdin was checking her Facebook page when she saw hateful posts from a person she considered a friend. Her name was never used, but she knew the words were about her. “He would directly … more

The positives: keeping in touch, finding support

With an enrollment that surpasses 2,000 kids, it’s unlikely Brett Siebert will run into friends between classes as he rushes through the busy hallways at Castle View High School in Castle Rock. To … more

Sexting poses legal, psychological risks for teens

When Douglas County Deputy Jay Martin first started teaching about relationships, digital safety and substance abuse prevention, maybe one high school student in each of his classes would raise his … more

Schools test out cellphone, technology bans

Last year, after seeing students exchanging hurtful messages online, Kendra Hossfeld, principal of North Star Academy in Parker, challenged her eighth-graders to a “detox week” free of device … more

‘Survive today and have an amazing future’

As students trickle into Bas Wolf’s classroom at Highlands Ranch High School, he greets each one by name, asks how they are. Sometimes, a hug accompanies the greeting. “Star Wars” posters, … more

How to help kids manage the digital world

The answer isn’t simple, but educators and mental health professionals agree that steps can be taken to combat the adverse affects of social media use. Setting screen time limits, along with … more

Mental illness: ‘It’s not even really a law enforcement problem’

In Castle Rock last year, police responded to 250 calls involving suicidal or potentially suicidal people. Douglas County deputies responded to at least 500 calls related to mental health in 2017, … more

Mental health calls challenge police

In the dark, early-morning hours of New Year’s Eve, Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish pleaded through the closed door of a Highlands Ranch apartment with a tenant he believed to be experiencing … more

Mental health holds weigh liberty vs. public safety

When a person in a mental health crisis is an imminent danger to himself, herself or others, or is gravely disabled by a mental illness, mental health and law enforcement professionals may place them … more

Officers learn how to de-escalate situations involving mental illness

Jeff Santelli, a retired Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy who now works as a CIT trainer, suggested that CIT should be a specialized presence in law enforcement, likening it to SWAT teams. Just like SWAT officers, CIT officers require a specific skillset, Santelli said. “It’s actually a very similar analogy to CIT,” he said. “It’s a specialized training of communication and not everybody is the best communicator.” more

Culture shift affects jail population

Law enforcement and mental health experts point to a culture shift in the approach to mental health treatment in the 1960s for the drastic rise in inmates with mental illness. In 1963, President John … more

‘All of our jails are psychiatric facilities’

At 17 years old, Michael was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He also was battling an addiction to heroin. Through his father’s private insurance, he received treatment and medication for both. In … more

Checkups mean ‘I’m more likely to stay sober’

Wearing an orange T-shirt and pants, Samuel Cardona sat at a round table in a small glass-walled room of the Douglas County jail, as he talked to a reporter. It was an afternoon in January. He had … more

Series: Time to talk about mental illness

Don’t we all know someone who is struggling with some form of mental illness or mental health challenge?

Colorado Community Media has launched a series of articles and forums, entitled “Time to Talk,” on the state of mental health, specifically in Douglas County, but applying to all of us, to discuss the need to bring the issue of mental illness into everyday conversation.

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Time to talk: Community members form unique mental health partnership

Several Douglas County administrators sat on one side of a large rectangular table. The deputy county attorney was a few seats down, near a deputy from the sheriff’s office. Representatives from … more

Time to Talk: ‘If people are in crisis, they shouldn’t have to wait’

Jo Ann Mahoney, 34, used to be insured by Medicaid, the federal public health insurance program for low-income people. It allowed her to see a therapist for depression and anxiety. Therapy, she said, was a safe place for her to discuss her life and struggles as a mother of three young children. more

Time to Talk: Connecting the dots for treatment proves challenging

Knowing whom to call or where to go for mental health care can be daunting and overwhelming. “When you are mentally ill,” said William Henricks, CEO of AllHealth Network, which provides mental health services to Arapahoe and Douglas counties, “it is very difficult to connect the dots.” more

Time to Talk: Campaigns fight stigma that follows mental illness

Dan Jackson was at dinner with a colleague when he felt the onset of a panic attack. So he took a Xanax, prescribed by his psychiatrist to calm him. When his colleague’s tone of voice and facial expression changed as he questioned him about the medication, Jackson felt like he was being judged. “The stigma is, `There is something wrong with that person, they are on medication,’ ” Jackson, 43, said. more

Time to Talk: A shared story

Growing up in Highlands Ranch, Sydney Chapin, 19, had everything she needed: a nice home where she lived with her parents and younger sister, good schools, close friends, money to pay for a tutor or therapist if she needed one. But she struggled. In second grade, she was diagnosed with anxiety, a mental health condition that runs in her family. In ninth grade, when her mother battled stage-four breast cancer and Chapin took on the role of caring for her sister, she was diagnosed with depression. She had difficulty fitting in at a new high school. Her energy declined, as did her grades. more
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