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OnEdge

Sentinel Colorado joined with media from across the state to focus on mental health and stress during uniquely troubled times. Experts discuss how widespread the need is for mental health treatment. Then read how a teacher, a grocery store worker, a drag queen, an athlete and many more are dealing with the pandemic, economic crisis, civil rights unrest, climate change and political upheaval.

ON EDGE — Conversations about mental health in a time of crisis

Colorado’s shadow epidemic: Heightened anxiety, depression are testing families, communities and Colorado’s already-frayed safety nets

ON EDGE: Their stories

On Edge: Veteran paramedic grapples with post-COVID toll on his lungs and his sense...

“It would have given me my life back if I could have avoided it,” he says.

On Edge: When politics feels like a moral injury

“It’s like, dude, every woman I know has been assaulted or raped or whatever, and if you bring that up to a woman, what’s your purpose besides poking the bear and being a dick? I was done with him. Finished.”

On Edge: In the wake of death and chaos, a Breckenridge businessman seeks balance

“Toby committed suicide,” Carleton says, and for a while he can’t say anything else. “He was a friend of my kids. He was 16 and no one saw it coming.”

ON EDGE: In unprecedented times, unprecedented struggles with mental health across the state

Colorado’s shadow epidemic: Heightened anxiety, depression are testing families, communities and Colorado’s already-frayed safety nets

ON EDGE: Family missing in Ethiopian civil war, Denver woman says her ‘mind is...

“I swear to God I know I look like that crazy woman who is screaming about this terrible dream and everybody’s like ‘What is wrong with her?’ I feel like I’m in a psych ward yelling, but nobody can hear me.”

On Edge: Colorado’s behavioral health chief talks about stigma, his own depression struggle

“This whole thing about people thinking they need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, this reluctance to come forward (and) ask for help, it’s asinine because it’s, like, 2020 and people are hurting and it’s important to know that doing it on your own is bullshit,” he says. “This stigma needs to stop.”

ON EDGE: Making appearances against all odds

“We knew something was going to happen, but not this. This has been just brutal” said Colvin, who is a licensed cosmetologist. Lopez is an esthetician.

ON EDGE — An Aurora psychiatrist absorbs patient pain that can’t be washed off

“How do you tell someone that the ways the government failed them have been colossal and, well, we’re sort of the laughing stock of the western world?”

ON EDGE: A Denver COVID survivor finds her footing amid her fears

It has taken months for Torres to begin to feel herself again and she says she does feel better, mentally and physically, though she would not call it back to normal. Fear accompanies her now. She says her kids think she is paranoid. She has “panic attacks from hell.”

ON EDGE: For one family, mental health strains are more than just 2020

“[My therapist] has always told me to think about it as being on an airplane,” she says. “They tell you to put on your oxygen mask first.”

ON EDGE: Pandemic compels an Evelyn Evermoore original song

“That was really like an, 'Alright, I want to continue living. I want to keep doing this,' turning point and healing moment,” Evermoore said.

ON EDGE: Teachable foment: ‘One minute we’re heroes and the next minute we’re villains’

“I work until I go to bed and as soon as I wake up in the morning I’m working,” Moreno said.

ON EDGE: Angela Ray searches for a little sweetness in the pandemic

"Some clients will be like, 'I'm sorry, I can't give you a tip.' And I'm like, I am fine without a tip. I got business. I try to look at the smallest things,” she said. 

ON EDGE: First, COVID took his friends, then it took his health

What he knew after just a couple weeks away from his social circle, unable to play the game he practiced in his mind while lying in bed, was that he was “going crazy.”

ON EDGE: Upstaged by health issues, Bernie Cardell is still running the show

“I didn’t have a job, I couldn’t go anywhere, the virus was happening — everything kind of stacked up on top of each other,” he said.

ON EDGE: Sandra Abbott broods over helping the living get past the dead

“It’s difficult,” Sandra said of speaking with the bereaved. “You can hear it on the phone. You can hear it in their voices that they’re struggling, but you can’t do anything about it.”

ON EDGE: In a rural Eastern Plains community plagued by drought, stigma prevails

“You come to doubt if it’s ever going to rain again. You know it will, but you don’t know when. So you ask yourself what am I doing here? Why are we doing this? And what exactly is the point in it all?” Brown says.

ON EDGE: Losing never felt so sweet to Eaglecrest’s Seyi Oladipo

“Honestly, COVID senior year is definitely mentally draining, physically draining, emotionally draining, you name it,” said Eaglecrest football player Seyi Oladipo, who was fortunate enough to get to play a senior season in the game he loves so much.

ON EDGE: Frank Omair worries how he can keep caring for the essentials

“This year, to be honest with you, is one of the toughest years I’ve ever had,” said Little Angels co-owner Frank Omair, who immigrated to the U.S. after living in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. He runs the daycare with his wife, Gigi. 

ON EDGE: Essential stress for essential grocery store workers

She said grocery store employees are subjected to endless stresses that come from risky conditions, testy customers and grinding fear and worry

ON EDGE: Virtual school nets real anxiety — “This is not working”

“I don’t think I’ve met one person who actually likes remote school,” she said. “In the beginning of the day when people do have their cameras on, you can see in their faces that they’re ready to be done already.”

ON EDGE: 2020 feels like death by a thousand newspaper cuts

It’s increasingly overwhelming to live and chronicle the same nightmares we share with thousands of others every day.