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Mental Health Colorado works to put toolkit in every school

May 24, 2018 | By Katie Pelton/Kyla Galer

More than 200,000 kids in Colorado experience mental health issues every year. Now one non-profit is working to put toolkits in every school to help kids.

The group Mental Health Colorado told us the toolkits will provide several resources for schools. It will help educators recognize early warning signs of mental health issues.

“The truth is a lot of kids aren’t getting the advantages they need and so they are struggling and suffering and in some cases even dying as a result,” said Andrew Romanoff, the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado.

“We spent the last year researching best practices around the country and developed the toolkit to schools and school districts,” Romanoff said. “How do you screen kids for mental health disorders? How do you engage parents and families in this conversation? Because that’s key. How do you train teachers and staff in a school, not to diagnose or treat mental illness — that’s not their job — but at least to recognize the early warning signs?”

The toolkits launched this month. Romanoff said they are hoping to talk with school districts statewide over the summertime so that schools can implement this next fall.

Romanoff talked about the goals of the new program.

“Here are the best ways to engage families, screen kids, to embed mental health in your school, and culture and curriculum and budget. Here are the results you can expect to achieve. Here’s a path forward,” he said.

Click here to learn more about the toolkit.

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