Children's Hospital Colorado

Colorado’s Youth Mental Health Crisis

A school-aged girl embraces her mother at home.

What we're seeing

How we're taking action

Children’s Hospital Colorado is taking the lead to address the youth mental health crisis in our state. And we’re just getting started. Here are several ways we're taking action to improve the mental health system and save lives.

Responding to kids in need

In May 2021, we declared a youth mental health “state of emergency” and held a media town hall to sound the alarm.

Blazing a trail for kids

Children’s Colorado appointed Ron-Li Liaw, MD, as our inaugural Mental Health-in-Chief, the first known position of its kind at a children's hospital.

Fighting for kids everywhere

Our leaders joined the Children's Hospital Association and more than 200 children's hospitals across the nation in urging Congress to enact legislation and increase funding to address a nationwide mental health emergency in children and teens.

Advocating for improved care — and prevention

With our partners, we advocated for nearly $150 million in state funding to directly support children and youth mental health by investing in schools, primary care and the community, so children get the help they need before they experience a crisis.

"I think we forget that one person can help another. It’s small, little things: How can you, individually, help make a difference?"
Luthien, Patient Ambassador

Ways to help with children's mental health

Of course, our work is far from over. Now, we need your help to address Colorado’s youth mental health crisis. Fortunately, there are several ways you can get involved and make a difference.

A teen hugs his mother

Invest in a better future for kids

Children can’t wait for a better mental health system. Help give our kids and teens the care they need, when they need it, by making a financial donation.

Give today

Learn about the impact of giving

Advocate for children’s mental health needs

Lawmakers and community leaders need to hear from you. We make it easy to speak up for kids' mental health needs through petitions, emails to lawmakers and more.

Ask Congress to prioritize youth mental health

Join our advocacy network

Help fund prevention and treatment

Do you want to raise money for youth mental health and connect with your community? Start a crowdfunding project or host a fundraiser with Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.

Find ways to fundraise

Fun and funds

Would you like a fancy night out or a thrilling bike ride in the mountains that also benefits children’s mental health? We have you covered.

Find an event

A mom and her teenage son have a heart-to-heart while walking outdoors.

Share resources with your network

Children's Colorado is proud to share a new resource to help families and community members understand pediatric mental health conditions and improve mental wellness for our youth.

Browse family mental health resources

Spread the word: mental health is health

It's OK to not be OK. Watch and share this video to help us break the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Youth mental health in the news

  • The New York Times
    Hundreds of suicidal teens sleep in emergency rooms every night
    May 08, 2022

    With inpatient psychiatric services in short supply, adolescents are spending days, even weeks, in hospital emergency departments awaiting the help they desperately need. Dr. Kevin Carney, a pediatric emergency-room doctor at Children's Colorado, detailed the challenge for The New York Times.

  • 5280
    Colorado’s youth mental health crisis continues
    March 30, 2022

    Nearly a year ago, Children's Hospital Colorado declared a state of emergency for youth mental health. Unfortunately, the crisis is far from over. Vice President of Population Health and Advocacy Heidi Baskfield shares about the challenges kids are facing and how the incidence of depression, anxiety and self-harm continues to increase.

  • The Gazette
    Children's mental health experts urge parents to check in with kids amid soaring rates of depression
    February 02, 2022

    Depression in kids has more than doubled during the pandemic. At a special town hall on mental health, Children's Colorado experts took questions from parents, offered tips and urged community members to check in with the adolescents and teenagers in their lives.