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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

State regulators have overlooked what former Mind Springs workers describe as a long pattern of fraud 

ON EDGE: Their stories

ON EDGE: Employees say they falsified Grand Junction mental health center records to embellish...

State regulators have overlooked what former Mind Springs workers describe as a long pattern of fraud 

ON EDGE: 3-agency audit reveals problems with Western Slope’s Mind Springs management

The audit found that Mind Springs' prescription practices were placing patients' well being at risk, in part, because some were being prescribed multiple controlled substances, such as stimulants and sedatives "at high doses."

ON EDGE: Failed 2014 mental health overhaul shows how state political connections maintain the...

When Crisis Access of Colorado won a bid to reform the state’s mental health services, its leader planned to bring the “A-Team” to serve the state’s poor and mentally ill. But mental health lobbyists used political connections to pressure state leaders out of their contract.

ON EDGE: Regional mental health centers are alarmed by Colorado’s 232-page plan to shake...

"This newly proposed Behavioral Health system change does not make allowance for this type of on-going community support response," Aurora Mental Health Center CEO Kelly Phillips Henry said.

ON EDGE: State hid findings of ‘life-threatening’ errors at troubled Western Slope mental...

A pattern of “severe, life-threatening” prescription errors by the troubled mental health center responsible for treating 10 Western Slope counties put many of its patients at risk, according to the findings of an official investigation that three state agencies withheld from the public for more than nine months.

ON EDGE: Novel city program works to draw some criminal suspects into mental health...

At its core, Aurora Sustained is aimed at getting people mental health care who are in need and likely haven’t sought it out. So far, the program, which has been running since June, has found that about 90% of the inmates agreed to participate in services provided by Aurora Mental Health. 

ON EDGE: Western Slope leaders say Mind Springs Health a case for statewide reform

Two counties are breaking from their mental health provider. Others are taking notes.

ON EDGE: More money but scarce workers complicate critical need for more mental health...

“There is a different level of satisfaction in the work when you don’t solve somebody’s problem,” he said. “You see them over and over and over again and you don’t have that sensation of cure or remedy. People’s distress is hard to solve.” 

ON EDGE: Mental healthcare safety net failing in Aurora, across Colorado

State mental health safety net is ‘failing’ residents in Aurora and across the state. Will planned reforms fix or further the problems?

Mental health online: Police posts of crises may traumatize

"It's like we were living in this tragedy with them," said Kevin Berthia, a mental health advocate who has survived his own suicide attempts. "Now how is that not creating trauma for anybody else? Who else is this triggering?"

ON EDGE: Unbeaten Rangeview basketball team deals with different kind of loss

Elijah Thomas and Josh Wyatt lost their fathers just 27 days apart last December, turning their worlds upside down even as they dealt with the coronavirus pandemic and all that went with it. Fortunately, they had each other, the game of basketball and coach Shawn Palmer and their teammates on the Rangeview boys basketball team, all of which have lifted them up and helped them contribute to the Raiders' undefeated season.

On Edge: After wanting to die, Aurora teen learning to live

Navee Essien, 17, of Aurora, tried to end her life in November. She since has been diagnosed with bipolar, anxiety and major depressive disorders, and is learning to manage them.

On Edge: Friendship can be a safety net when life is on the high...

“Sometimes, it just helps for one of us to look at the other and say, ‘You’re not going to die,’” Humphrey adds.

On Edge: For Tylan Jones, anxiety is also a battle between optimism and pessimism

Tylan Jones is not naive. He is a 20-year-old Black man living in the United States. This reality does not easily accommodate naivete. When he was in middle school, he says, he and some Black...

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.