It's time to talk about mental health.
Mothers and mental health advocates talk about how mental illness affects families, and why — and how — we need to talk about it.
The free community …
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use can lead to a marijuana dependency and, in extreme cases, addiction.
About 30 percent of marijuana users are believed to have some degree of a marijuana-use disorder. This is often associated with “dependence,” NIDA says on its website, in which a person feels withdrawals when not using.
Frequent users report symptoms such as irritability, difficulty sleeping, moodiness, low appetite, cravings and physical discomfort after quitting.
If a person cannot stop using marijuana and it is interfering with his or her life, he or she may be addicted.
“Estimates of the number of people addicted to marijuana are controversial, in part because epidemiological studies of substance use often use dependence as a proxy for addiction,” NIDA says, “even though it is possible to be dependent without being addicted.”
Check out a Time to Talk community conversation about mental health and youth: Andrew Romanoff, CEO of Mental Health Colorado, talked about the importance of early intervention. Kristen Torres, a CSU sophomore and Douglas County graduate, and Kirstie June, a senior at Chaparral High School, shared their personal mental health struggles and how they've overcome them. You can watch video of the forum here.
Hosted by Colorado Community Media on April 26 at Lone Tree Library in partnership with Douglas County Libraries and the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative.
• Increased use of alcohol or drugs
• Withdrawing from activities
• Isolating from family and friends
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Giving away prized possessions
• Displaying depression, anxiety, irritability, shame or anger
• Displaying relief or sudden improvement in mood
• Talking about feelings of hopelessness, being a burden to others or having no reason to live
Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Award-winning reporter Alex DeWind, 25, reports primarily on Highlands Ranch and the Douglas County School District, but has focused much of her time since November reporting on the state of mental health in Douglas County. A native of Basalt, a small mountain town outside of Aspen, she graduated from University of Colorado-Boulder in May 2015 and joined Colorado Community Media that fall. Reporting the stories in this segment — being privileged to listen to the very personal stories people have shared — has been an emotional journey, DeWind said. “These tragedies forever change the lives of everyone left behind,” she said. “People need to know that they are loved, cared for and that they matter in this world. There are so many things that make life worth living.”
Jessica Gibbs, 25, began for Colorado Community Media in August 2016, and has already earned statewide awards for her writing. Originally from DeWitt, a small town in southeast Nebraska, she graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and covers Douglas County, Castle Rock and nearby communities.
“As officials on the forefront of the issue have said, there is no perfect answer for improving the mental health system or law enforcement’s role in policing the mentally ill,” Gibbs said. “Let’s keep asking the tough questions until those answers can be found, so those with mental illness have the resources they need and the public rests assured the system is working at its best.”
Nick Puckett, 22, began covering Parker and Lone Tree in May, after his graduation from the University of Montana, where he earned a journalism degree.He spent the past couple of months reporting on how and why businesses are responding to the challenge of mental illness in the workplace.“The whole experience was pretty eye-opening,” said Puckett, who grew up in Castle Rock. “I learned mental health can look so different from person to person. I was impressed with the creative ways different businesses went about supporting mental health, but also realized there’s still so far to go.”
Let’s Talk Colorado, launched in May, is a statewide campaign created by Tri-County Health Department and other partner organizations to combat the stigma of mental illness. In English and Spanish, Letstalkco.org defines mental health and stigma, as well as provides links to local and statewide resources.
The campaign also provides tips on how to talk about mental health, such as:• Be nice.• Keep in contact.• Offer help.• Listen.• Keep the conversation moving.• Don’t ignore it.
MakeItOk.org is a national campaign to combat the stigma of mental illness. On its website, visitors can learn about mental illness, answer a questionnaire on stigmatic behaviors and read about individual experiences with stigma. The campaign provides resources that can be used to teach, share, learn and speak about mental illness and stigma. Below are phrases the campaign recommends to use and to avoid when discussing mental health.
Try saying:• “Thanks for opening up to me.”• “How can I help?”• “I’m sorry to hear that. It must be tough.”• “I’m here for you when you need me.”• “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”• “People do get better.”• “Can I drive you to an appointment?”• “How are you feeling today?”• “I love you.”
Avoid saying:• “It could be worse.”• “Just deal with it.”• “Snap out of it.”• “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”• “You may have brought this on yourself.”• “We’ve all been there.”• “You’ve got to pull yourself together.”• “Maybe try thinking happier thoughts.”
The Douglas County Mental Health Initiative
Supported by the Douglas County Commissioners, in response to several tragic mental health related incidents, the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative has worked to unite community partners to address unmet mental health needs, connect people to mental health services and prevent those in need from falling through the cracks of the mental health system.
100 Third Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Click here to go to their web site
Let's talk Colorado
The goal of the Let’s Talk Colorado media campaign is to initiate an inclusive conversation. All Coloradans benefit when we learn to discuss our mental health, and those of us who need treatment are more likely to seek it when we all agree that mental health is everyone’s responsibility.
Spanish language web site.
English language web site.
Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition
The Douglas County Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was established in March of 2016 as a component of the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative. The coalition is comprised of numerous agencies in Douglas County that have a stake in youth substance abuse prevention or treatment.
The Coalition is built around the community and meant to provide a cross-sectional representation of community members. The goal of the coalition is to reduce drug and alcohol use among the youth of the county.
Mental Health Colorado
Mental Health Colorado is the state’s leading advocate for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and an affiliate of Mental Health America.
Statewide help hotline: 1-844-493-TALK (8255)
County and state mental health and substance abuse facts
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