Nurturing Our Community – Changing the Conversation Around Mental Health
Colorado ranks high nationally for our economy, quality of life, and education. But it might surprise you to know that Colorado is also known for its growing suicide and homeless rates. Colorado ranks 7th nationally for the highest suicide rate. In 2014, 1,058 people in Colorado died by suicide - which is the highest number ever recorded. For perspective, compare this to 486 people who died from car crashes in 2014. Meanwhile, the increasing homeless presence is constantly becoming more apparent. These are only two examples of the impact of mental health on our communities. And while it is not the only cause of these problems, the mental health issue affects us all. So, how do we help our communities?
“Considering that one in five people struggle with mental illness and that a mental health issue will likely impact each and every one of us at some point in our lives, the time is right to challenge misperceptions and help change the conversation around something that is so very common and incredibly important.” - Jeannie Ritter
Jeannie is best known for serving as the First Lady of Colorado from 2007 to 2011. When Jeannie Ritter became Colorado's First Lady, she knew immediately that mental health would be her official cause. Advisers questioned her choice and encouraged her to take on something with more "universal appeal". But Jeannie was adamant, and for four years, she helped bring unprecedented attention to mental health in Colorado.
Jeannie's quest to bring to the forefront mental health issues continues as part of her role as a Mental Health Ambassador for the Mental Health Center of Denver. In this full-time position, she is tasked with helping to educate the community about issues surrounding mental health and promoting the work the Mental Health Center of Denver does in helping to enrich the lives and minds of people living with mental illness.
The Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) is a private, not-for-profit, 501 (c) (3) community mental health center, and is one of several organizations that are actively engaged in addressing mental health issues in the city and state.
Please join us in welcoming Jeannie Ritter to the City Club of Denver to discuss this important issue facing our communities.
ON THE MENU
Roasted Pork Loin, Sun-Dried Cherry Demi Glace
Polenta & Roasted Vegetable Napoleon, Sun-Dried Tomato Coulis