Colorado organizations team up to tackle mental health crises in emergency room patients before they happen – CBS Denver


DENVER (CBS4) – Two Colorado organizations are teaming up to tackle mental health crises in emergency room patients, responding before they happen.

File photo of an emergency entrance to a hospital. (Credit: (Credit: Thinkstock / Getty Images)

“National rates show emergency rates are on the rise during the pandemic,” said Dr. Rob Bremer, vice president of network strategy at Colorado Access.

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A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association Psychiatry found that behavioral health emergency room visit rates were higher between March and October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Bremer says the conclusion is clear: There is a growing need for behavioral health prevention, screening and intervention, especially during and after public health crises. Suicidal ideation is one of the top 10 reasons for emergency room visits among Colorado Access members.

“Let’s be honest, we are all subject to increased levels of stress and anxiety. With the pandemic, we feel more uncertain. It makes sense that feelings of depression and anxiety are higher, ”Bremer said.

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(credit: iStock / Getty Images)

That is why Access to Colorado works with non-profit organizations like Family planning in the Rocky Mountains to help Colorado residents have increased access to specialized medical screenings.

“Screen 100% of the patients who come to the clinic (Littleton), because sometimes we are not very good judges of someone’s depressive symptoms and they may not show them when they enter a clinical setting.” “Bremer said.” I sort of equate it with blood pressure. Anywhere you would go to a doctor or healthcare professional and expect them to take your blood pressure, we should also check our behavioral health status. “

Bremer says the goal is to normalize the subject. “The more questions we ask about it .. that makes it less scary, the more comfortable you feel talking to your provider about because they are asking the question.” said Bremer.

(credit: CBS)

There are resources that you can instantly access 24/7 through Colorado Crisis Services. Call (844) 493-8255 (TALK). You can also send an SMS “TALK” 38255 or connect to

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