Category: Mental Health - Part 4

Health exchange starts from scratch

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Colorados new health exchange board meets for the first time next week and must immediately get to work. This is a roll-up-your-sleeves, we-need-your-expertise kind of board, said Joan Henneberry, director of the Colorado health insurance exchange at the Colorado Health Institute. For the first three to four months, the board is going to be very busy. This board is building something from scratch. Heres what is on deck for the new board and a summary of priorities for board members who returned calls to Solutions . Among the first agenda items: Evaluating and interpreting the regulations that…

Denver a mecca for eating disorder recovery

By Mikaila Altenbern Katheryn Liermann decided that she needed help. She wanted to get better. The problem? As she began her search for treatment facilities, she found that her body weight was too low for her to be accepted. In other words, she was too sick to be treated. It felt like everyone had given up on me. It was really disheartening because I had already given up, says Liermann about her search for a clinic with the medical expertise to help her overcome her 12-year struggle with anorexia nervosa. Luckily for Liermann she found the A.C.U.T.E. center at Denver Health Medical Center. She contacted…

New understanding of genetics helps doctors prevent anorexia

By Mikaila Altenbern In 1975, Dr. Craig Johnson, then a medical student at the University of Minnesota, first encountered anorexia nervosa. Johnson found the illness intriguing and realized that there were very few people paying attention to it. It was rare to come across an anorexia patient, said Johnson, who added, It is easy to become an expert in a field where there arent a lot of cases. Today Johnson is one of many experts in eating disorder recovery and prevention working in Denver. Johnson is the chief clinical officer at the Eating Recovery Center in Denver. Specialists in the medical field tend…

Opinion: Health care integration = WHOLE health care

By Donald J. Mares It is no secret that there is a strong connection between the mind and body. Religious leaders, philosophers, doctors and many others have discussed the mind/body connection for centuries. Yet the treatment of mental and physical health has been compartmentalized in modern Western medicine. In the United States, there are two systems of care: the behavioral health system and the physical health system. These systems are perpetuated through insurance reimbursements, through laws, medical education and many other cultural and social institutions. The distinction between mental and physical health is both a product and promoter of the…

Record level of stress found in college freshmen

The emotional health of college freshmen who feel buffeted by the recession and stressed by the pressures of high school has declined to the lowest level since an annual survey of incoming students started collecting data 25 years ago. Read the New York Times report .

Record suicide toll rocks Colorado. Could altitude be to blame?

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon The iconic Western cowboy has long enchanted artists and pioneers alike. Who could be more carefree than a man alone on his horse, herding cattle as jagged peaks tower overhead? The romance with the Rocky Mountain West is fundamental to our American DNA. Yet, there is a hidden peril for these mavericks and stoic ranchers, as poisonous as cigarettes were to the rugged Marlboro man. Depression and suicide rates are alarmingly high among ranchers and rural residents in Colorado. Throughout the state, Colorado has set an unfortunate record with the highest number of suicides ever recorded…

Son’s suicide in sacred mountains shatters nature photographer

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon For John Fielder, Colorados mountains are his medicine and his muse. Craggy high-altitude peaks, bathed in the glow of a new days light, have fed the soul of Colorados most famous nature photographer for nearly four decades. Fielder has captured achingly beautifully images and fought to save sacred lands, including his most recent preservation project: Ranches of Colorado . Yet, the mountains were also the setting for the most tragic moment of Fielders life. On March 21, 2006, Fielders oldest child and only son, John J.T. Fielder III, killed himself on a 13,000-foot ridge above Butler Gulch near Empire. It…

Opinion: Suicide prevention: moving to inter-dependence

By Jarrod Hindman, M.S. Ask for help if you need it. Say yes to someone who asks you. Those two simple things can help to reduce the frequency of suicide, which claims more lives in Colorado than do motor vehicle crashes, homicide, breast cancer and diabetes. Research has shown that people who are suicidal do not want to end their life. Rather, they want to end their pain. If a caring person can listen without judgment, talk with them about their suicidal feelings, and get them connected to professional help, there is a great opportunity to save a life. We…