New data shows about 1 in 4 mental-health ER visits in Colorado are by children |

New data shows about 1 in 4 mental-health ER visits in Colorado are by children


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Colorado Crisis Services is a free, 24-hour organization that helps with mental health, substance abuse or emotional help. Confidential services are available at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. Reach them online at

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a 24/7 support line available by calling 1-800-273-8255

Coloradans are frequently visiting hospital emergency rooms for mental health reasons, and many of those visits — about one in four — are by children, according to new data from the Center for Improving Value in Health Care.

More than 17,000 individuals received care at an emergency department for a mental health diagnosis between 2016 and 2018, according to the data released Wednesday.

The frequency of emergency room visits reflects the lack of access to mental health providers and the high cost and stigma associated with receiving such care, said Cari Frank, spokeswoman for the Center for Improving Value in Health Care.

“We have had an issue with mental health in Colorado for some time,” she said, adding, “We don’t want people to have to be using the ER as their source of care.”

The center analyzed claims data for patients with commercial insurance plans, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage. It did not include all Medicare patients.

Click here to read the full story from The Denver Post.

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