May is Mental Health Month. This week, we're taking a closer look at the costs of mental illness in Colorado, from both a health and financial standpoint.
The four-part series Untreated: How Ignoring Mental Illness Costs Us All, can be heard at 8:30am, on the KSJD Morning Zine.
Monday, May 19
“Untreated: Part 1 – Overview/Frequent Fliers”
The annual cost of mental illness is Colorado is almost equal to the $5.5 billion the state collected in personal taxes last year. And on a per-person basis, that amounts to about a thousand dollars a year. KUNC reporter Erin O’Toole spoke with I-News health reporter and series author Kristen Jones about their findings.
Tuesday, May 20
“Untreated: Part 2 – Jails”
Voters in Larimer County have twice rejected ballot issues in recent years aimed at funding that county's jail. Reporter Grace Hood with KUNC radio finds the community is still struggling to meet the meet the needs of the mentally ill.
Wednesday, May 21
“Untreated: Part 3 – Intervention”
The Rocky Mountain states, including Colorado, have higher suicide rates compared to the rest of the country. But as KUNC's Jackie Fortier learned, some public health professionals feel getting easier access to death certificates could help them hone their suicide prevention strategies.
Thursday, May 22
“Untreated: Part 4 – Legislation”
Mental health became a top priority for some Colorado lawmakers following the 2012 Aurora theater shootings and the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Mental health issues were also a topic of discussion during this year’s legislative session. But as Bente Birkeland reports, they didn’t gain as much traction as last year.
If you missed any of these stories, you can listen to them HERE.