Colorado is in a state of crisis

But we are not alone.

According to the 2020 State of Mental Health in America Report for children and youth specifically, Colorado currently ranks 34th in the country for pediatric mental health when analyzing several indicators including the prevalence of children’s mental illness and access to care.

Many Colorado kids who need mental health services cannot access them. Care is patchy and inconsistent. Providers statewide are unaware of the other services available. This is confusing for families to navigate. Oftentimes they face road block after road block to getting care. Some never receive care.

The Colorado children’s mental health crisis is not due to a lack of expertise, dedication or effort aimed at reform and improvement. There are valuable efforts in progress across Colorado in many state and community systems. Currently, a number of groups are working in a variety of directions, and the result has been gradual progress. However, if we come together with a unified vision, a clear strategy and specific goals, we can make greater change for the children and families of Colorado.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24 in Colorado.

31.4% of Colorado youth reported feeling sad for two or more weeks in the past twelve months.

23% of children in the United States – 17.1 million – have or have had a psychiatric disorder. That is more than the total number of children with cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.

50% of all psychiatric illness occurs before the age of 14, and 75% by the age of 24.

There is an average delay of 8-10 years between the onset of mental health symptoms and intervention.

Only 22% of youth who have a mental illness with severe impairment are receiving care.