“The average gap between the onset of symptoms and the arrival of treatment is about 8-10 years. In the meantime there is a lot of suffering and even death that occurs.”
There are more than a million people in Colorado who experience a mental health or a substance use disorder each year. It is estimated that about 70% of these people don’t get treatment.
Andrew Romanoff, CEO of Mental Health America of Colorado (MHAC) says it’s a matter of life and death “the average gap between the onset of symptoms and the arrival of treatment is about 8-10 years. In the meantime there is a lot of suffering and even death that occurs.”
Suicide is the 6th leading cause of death in Boulder County and one of the leading causes of death throughout the country, in facet more people die in Boulder County from suicide than from breast cancer or motor vehicle accidents.
Romanoff says there is a critical window of adolescence in which mental health screening could happen to identify problems early on. “We have to make sure we spot the symptoms of mental illness before it becomes a crisis. In about half the cases of mental health and substance use disorders the symptoms appear by the age of 14. In about three quarters of the cases the symptoms appear before 24.”
Andrew Romanoff will speak on a forum on mental health sponsored by the League of Women Voters Boulder County: How can we help with Mental Health Care in Boulder County and Colorado? Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Firehouse Art Center, 677 4th Ave.