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Education  ~  Advocacy  ~ Outreach  ~ Prevention                                September 2011

In This Issue
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Mental Health on Campus
Mental Health Recommendations for Health Care Reform
News & Announcements

 Suicide Prevention & Awareness


This month is recognized locally and nationally as Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. What will you do to recognize this issue which is a major public health issue in Colorado?


Take time this month to become aware of risk factors for suicide or if someone you love is struggling with a mental health issue, encourage him or her to take a mental health screening. Suicide is preventable with proper treatment and support. Don't be afraid to talk about it! Empower yourself today to fight against suicide!


Make a Donation in Memory of a Loved One


Train in Mental Health First Aid 

 Mental Health on Campus


Mental health issues are increasing on college campuses. The proportion of students diagnosed with depression has increased from 10 percent in 2000 to 16 percent today. In a 2008 national survey of directors of campus mental health services, 95 percent reported that they have seen a significant increase in severe psychological issues among their students. With approximately 375,000 college students in Colorado, it is estimated that nearly 42,000 students with mental health disorders go untreated in any given year. Mental health issues among students are associated with significantly lower grade point averages and higher probabilities of dropping out of school.threefriends


The good news is that many mental health disorders can be treated. For example, with proper diagnosis and treatment, up to 80 percent of those with depression can be successfully treated. On college campuses, one of the most effective strategies for addressing the these issues is involving peers. Resident Advisors (RAs) and other peer mentors and advisors represent a range of supportive people who interact with students at a critical time in their lives when they may be developing emotional, mental health, or substance abuse issues. It is important that these peers understand how to help someone in these situations and how to refer them to appropriate mental health or substance abuse services and/or professionals.


MHAC has partnered with Colorado State University-Ft. Collins to provide Mental Health First Aid trainings to a variety of groups on campus, including student peer groups. MHAC plans to deliver Mental Health First Aid trainings to college campuses throughout the state. For more information about this program, email Tim.


Resources for college students 



Mental Health Recommendations for Health Care Reform


Where is mental health in the health care reform conversation? No one is sure. We know that the Affordable Care Act requires all health insurance plans offered in state health insurance exchanges  - along with Medicaid benchmark plans - offer at least a minimum set of essential benefits. The package must include mental health and substance abuse services at parity with other medical/surgical care, prevention services and rehabilitative services. However, the law did not specify specific mental health services that must be covered.reform

MHAC's parent organization, Mental Health America, based in Washington, D.C., has united with other mental health advocacy groups to submit minimum recommendations to the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration.The group's recommendations intend to strike a balance between a very narrow benefit that will leave many without essential services and the comprehensive benefits that are covered only by Medicaid.

Recommendations At-a-Glance


Full Recommendations 


What is a Health Care Exchange? 


Current Parity in Colorado

Join Our Mailing List

Quick Links

Free Mental Health Screenings

Informacion en espanol



Calendar of Events



Join the Chat!

Fri., Sept. 9 ~ 8am-6pm


MHAC volunteers, Laura Excell & Tamra Hughes will answer questions on a live chat at  


The chat topic is how to talk to children about tragedy and coping with 9/11. 

 News & Announcements


Tribute is Thursday, September 22 ~ Do you have your ticket?trib2


Join us for a wonderful evening honoring Gwen and Moses Brewer and their commitment to our state's mental health and wellness. The live and silent auctions will be irresistible. Stay tuned for Live Auction Updates!


Details & RSVP information




Warbirds Over the Rockies Will Benefit MHACyellowbird

Friday, Sept. 23 - Sunday, Sept. 25

Drake Field, between Loveland and Fort Collins


Join us for a weekend of family fun Sept. 23 - Sept. 25! Warbirds Over the Rockies is an entertaining and educational event that showcases historical remote-controlled airplane shows, military aviation reenactment and a pyrotechnic show. It is truly a unique presentation of aviation history.
As a salute to mental health and wellness, a portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to MHAC!


Warbirds website




Yampa Valley Mental Health Conference

Saturday, September 24 ~ Steamboat Springs


Yampa Valley's first mental health conference is aimed at raising awareness about relevant mental health, total wellness topics and the resources for navigating them.


Details & Registration



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