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Posters for I Matter, the state's free student therapy program hang in Fort Collins High School. The initiative was launched in 2021, in response to a significant increase in youth mental health needs in Colorado.  ©Leigh Paterson/KUNC

From long wait lists to high costs, finding a therapist in Colorado is harder than it should be

KUNC by Leigh Paterson, November 15, 2023: In communities across Northern Colorado, people are struggling with their mental health while also struggling to get the care they need. The problem is widespread. Around a quarter of residents reported having poor mental health in the most recent Colorado Health Access Survey….

County Behavioral Health Services Director Luke Bergmann speaks to members of the media about the CARE Act program at the County Administration Center in downtown on Sept. 27, 2023./ ©Ariana Drehsler

Law Could Increase Demand for Often-Elusive Addiction Treatment

Voice of San Diego by Lisa Halverstadt, November 3, 2023: State legislation that makes people struggling with severe addiction eligible for conservatorships is expected to put more pressure on a treatment system now often unable to deliver immediate voluntary care. A state law set to take effect in January aims…

Posters of missing Indigenous people are displayed outside of Drumbeat Indian Arts in Phoenix on Sept. 28, 2023, where the advocacy group Stolen People, Stolen Benefits is based. ©Brendon Derr/AZCIR

Patients, advocates describe ‘pure chaos’ in state response to AHCCCS fraud

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR) by Hannah Bassett and Maria Polletta, November 2, 2023: On May 16, as cameras flashed and tribal leaders looked on, Arizona’s governor and attorney general announced a statewide crackdown on behavioral health providers suspected of defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of hundreds of…

©Leigh Paterson/KUNC: Students walk past the doors of the school-based health center at Glenwood Springs High School during a passing period on September 19th, 2023. Every student who goes in for a medical or behavioral health appointment is screened for depression, anxiety and self-harm.

One answer to the youth mental health crisis? Asking Colorado students how they’re feeling

KUNC by Leigh Paterson, November 3, 2023: Rates of anxiety and depression among young people are the highest they’ve been since 2013, when Colorado first began collecting this data. Driven by the urgent state of youth mental health, an effort is underway in Colorado to identify kids who need behavioral…

©Ariana Drehsler/A portion of a stack of 2022 phone screens sit on the desk of Program Manager Darlene Jackson at the McAlister Institute's Adult Detox in Lemon Grove.

Getting Drug Treatment Beds Is So Hard for Poor It’s Like Winning the Lottery

Voice of San Diego, by Lisa Halverstadt, September 28, 2023: Low-income and homeless San Diegans often can‘t quickly access residential treatment for substance use disorder. On a recent day earlier this month, Jerry Shirey’s team at San Diego Freedom Ranch had a list of more than 30 people seeking a…

©Grant Blankenship/GPB: The stretch of Deepstep Road in Washington County where Eurie Martin fatally encountered Washington County Sheriff's deputies in 2017. In many cases, law enforcement officers are not prepared to handle mental health crisis calls.

Overwhelmed with mental health calls, six rural sheriffs make their own plan for better response

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) by Sofi Gratas, September 13, 2023: Eurie Martin, 58, was walking alone on a rural two lane road in Washington County in 2017, when three deputies from the county sheriff’s office encountered him, responding to a suspicious person call. They didn’t know Martin had a history…

Shelly Cailler says goodbye to her wife, Kellie Wright, after Wright was detained at the Pottawatomie County jail. ©Todd Pendleton/The Oklahoman

Cover-up Alleged in Pottawatomie County Jail Deaths

Oklahoma Watch, by Whitney Bryen, September 6, 2023: Pottawatomie County jail officials apparently defied state laws and a judge’s order when they concealed information on the unexplained deaths of seven vulnerable detainees. All seven people arrived at the jail with medical and mental health or substance use complications that required…

Aaron Morris, 27, shows a photo of him and his mother, Richelle, from elementary school on his cellphone at his Jefferson City, Mo., home in August. Richelle, who was found mentally incapacitated in 2003, is currently in a vegetative state after having a heart attack in the Harris County Jail in February. ©Marie D. De Jesús/Houston Landing

This Harris County program serves the most vulnerable. But it won’t bail them out of jail.

Houston Landing, by Alex Stuckey and Marie D. De Jesús: This story is the third in a broader series, “Deadly Detention,” investigating jails across Texas. You can read the first story here and the second here. When a Houston police officer arrived at Richelle Morris’ group home in a quiet…

©Zach Raw/For The Frontier and Curbside Chronicle

People with mental illness are more likely to die in jail. A new Oklahoma County program puts them in treatment instead

The Frontier, by Kayla Branch, August 31, 2023: There have been nine suicides at the Oklahoma County jail in three years. Another six people with documented mental health issues died of other causes. One woman’s death has helped jumpstart a diversion program. After her arrest for a small amount of…

San Diego County Administration Building

How San Diego Is Rolling Out CARE Court

Voice of San Diego, by Lisa Halverstadt, August 24, 2023: San Diego County is up against the clock to implement a new state-mandated system that compels people with certain mental illnesses into care. It’s a herculean task, and one with many obstacles. San Diego County officials have until October to…

Maddie Maes and her mother sit on their couch.

LGBTQ+ kids in Colorado are struggling. Finding the right therapist is yet another hurdle.

KUNC, by Leigh Patterson, August 21, 2023: Colorado’s LGBTQ+ youth are living with high rates of depression, stress and thoughts of self-harm, but finding treatment in Northern Colorado can be a challenge. This has been the experience of 15-year-old Maddie Maes. Her mental health has been up and down for…

Women hidden by trees.

Mental Health Care Is Critical for Survivors of Violence. Access Is Another Story.

Mental Health Care Is Critical for Survivors of Violence. Access Is Another Story., by Claudia Boyd-Barrett, August 3, 2023: Lisbet wondered if the victim advocate had made a mistake. Lisbet was at the Family Justice Center in San Diego, a social services agency for domestic violence survivors, trying to get…

©Joshua Bickel/Center for Public Integrity: Hannah Norris, 13, and her mother, Lisa Norris, pose for a portrait at their home, Dec. 10, 2022, in Hilliard, Ohio.

Families take drastic steps to help children in mental health crises

The Center for Public Integrity, by Christine Herman, March 16, 2023: An insufficient mental health care system pushes some families to give up custody of their children for care. States look for better solutions. When Lisa Norris adopted her daughter Hannah out of foster care as a toddler in 2010,…

©Anna Vignet/KQED

Proven Schizophrenia Treatments Keep People in School, at Work and off the Street. Why Won’t Insurance Companies Cover Them?

KQED, by April Dembosky, March 1, 2023: What if, instead of telling patients with schizophrenia to prepare for a lifetime of disability, we asked them what they want and worked with them toward full recovery? When Yvonne was walking across campus and heard someone calling her name, she stopped and…

©WITF: Martha Stringer, at left, talks with her daughter Kimberly Stringer, at right. The Stringers have filed a lawsuit against Bucks County Correctional Facility employees after Kimberly was pepper-sprayed and restrained while detained there while suffering from a mental health condition.

Jails fail to accommodate people with mental illness. In some cases, it’s a civil rights violation.

WITF, by Brett Sholtis, November 14, 2022: As a note of disclosure, WITF and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are challenging in court Bucks County’s refusal to release a video of an incident involving Kimberly Stringer while she was in Bucks County Correctional Facility. Months before her…

Wayne Wilson, standing in a hogan at the Native American Baha’i Institute in Houck, holds eagle feathers he uses in traditional healing ceremonies. © Laura Bargfeld/Cronkite News

Healing Through Culture: Increasing access to Native American practices to treat mental health

Cronkite News, story and video by Laura Bargfeld, audio story by Natalie Skowlund, November 4, 2022: HOUCK – In a remote hogan near the southern edge of the Navajo Nation, Wayne Wilson lights a fire, lays out eagle feathers and remembers his grandfather’s teachings. “He would talk to me and…

Donald Winston adjusts the blinds moments after moving into his new apartment — the first-ever home of his own. ©Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

California is trying to house the homeless through a health insurance program. It worked for this man.

Los Angeles Times, by Lila Seidman, October 19, 2022: On a blistering hot Friday in August, Donald Winston, 56, lugged black trash bags stuffed with belongings up four flights of stairs to what had just become his first-ever home of his own. Winston sweated profusely as the plastic bags began…

©Sipa USA/Joshua Guerra/Sipa USA via Reuters.: Twenty one chairs, flags and crosses are displayed in front of local businesses on May 30, 2022, in Uvalde. They each honor the 19 students and two teachers killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Uvalde prompted Texas to start taking mental health funding for schools seriously. Is it enough?

Texas Public Radio, by Bonnie Petrie, September 27, 2022:  [Petrie Dish Podcast] On a sweet, sunny spring Tuesday, children across the state were preparing for summer break, feeling that giddy rush that comes to kids in those last, loose days of the school year when unstructured hours of summer fun…

©Annie Mulligan/The Texas Tribune: Devin Mathieu and his partner, Claudia Dambra, discuss someone who might need a package containing life-saving harm reduction supplies in their apartment on Sept. 16.

Texas bans many proven tools for helping drug users. Advocates are handing them out anyway.

The Texas Tribune, by Sneha Dey, October 11, 2022: HOUSTON — Thirty minutes before a punk show this summer, Claudia Dambra set up a table and taped to it a tablecloth she had hand-painted with broad, white brushstrokes. The banner read, “PUNK NOT DEATH.” As people flooded into the Houston…

©Kylie Cooper/The Texas Tribune: Dana Jones pauses for a moment on Aug. 1, 2022, as she retells her experiences with past floods in Houston. Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 and Winter Storm Uri in 2021 damaged her home.

“It’s destroying me”: Storm after storm, climate change increases strain on Texans’ mental health

The Texas Tribune, September 8, 2022, by Erin Douglas: HOUSTON — The first thing Dana Jones, 61, tells you to do when you enter her gray-blue house in Melrose Park is walk along the off-white tile, up and down, through her dining room, while she watches carefully for your reaction….