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Colorado leaders address mental health and COVID-19 recovery

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 4:38 PM MDT|Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 7:43 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The state and mental health experts are teaming up to raise awareness for mental health across Colorado this May!

The month of May is known as “Mental Health Month” and this year the focus is COVID-19 recovery. The state has been raising awareness for mental health and well being since 1949 and this year the issue is more important than ever.

Experts say the current wave of infections and deaths from the virus is part of a bigger wave of mental health needs. They say the state should be prepared to deal with secondary health impacts like increased mental health and substance abuse issues.

Since the pandemic began, more than one million Coloradans have reportedly been diagnosed with a mental health condition, which is about 20% of the population.

Carl Clark, the president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, knows this is a difficult time for everyone but hopes this year more people can get the help they need.

“This may be the May where awareness goes broad. The pandemic has in fact impacted all of us, it’s impacted our well-being,” says Clark.

Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and mental health experts held a press conference Monday morning to talk about the issue of mental health and how you can overcome it. You can watch the full press conference here.

Primavera says mental health and overall well being goes back to issues like access to housing, healthcare and services to promote healthy minds. Other health experts say mental health and trauma don’t have an end and this is something we must get through together. If you are dealing with mental health issues, they say recovery starts by having compassion for yourself and others.

Reaching out to services is also an option for those dealing with mental health.

Experts say calls to the Colorado State Crisis Line have increased steadily over the last year and overall have been up about 32% during the pandemic. They hope to see these numbers increase in the coming months and get more people the help they need.

“I do hope that this is the time where awareness goes up and peoples demand for services goes up to. That people actually get what they need,” says Clark.

The Colorado crisis hotline is open 24/7 and is free and confidential. Health professionals will help you and make sure you are connected to the right resources. The number is 1-844-493-8255 or you can also text “TALK” to 38255.

For more information on the Colorado crisis services, click here.

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