Colorado Crisis Services offers mental health assistance – Health Briefs |

Colorado Crisis Services offers mental health assistance – Health Briefs

Colorado Crisis Services is available to help with a mental health, substance use or emotional crisis, 24/7/365. Call 844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak confidentially with a trained professional, or visit one of the 11 Walk-In Crisis Services Centers across the state. For more information, visit

Flu vaccinations still available, effective

Flu season is here, and nobody wants to catch this nasty illness.

People sometimes wonder whether any complementary health approaches have been shown to protect against the flu. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Though a variety of herbs, vitamins and other complementary approaches have been studied for flu, there’s not enough evidence to show whether any of them are helpful, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Flu vaccination is the single best available step to protect against flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu vaccinations are still available, and it is not to late to benefit from one. As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against flu. Talk with a medical provider or pharmacist.

Time is short to enroll for health insurance coverage

Connect for health Colorado reminds people to enroll for insurance now to receive coverage beginning Jan. 1.

The last day to enroll for coverage beginning Jan. 1 is Dec. 15. The last day to enroll for 2018 coverage (excepting a life change event) is Jan. 12.

Health insurance cannot be purchased after this period except in the event of a qualifying life-change event, such as marriage, divorce, having a child, losing employer-sponsored insurance or relocation to Colorado.

Connect for Health Colorado is a public, nonprofit entity established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance marketplace. It is the only place to apply for financial assistance in the form of tax credits to help lower the monthly cost of premiums.

Customers can shop online; get help by phone or online chat from Customer Service Center representatives, and access free, in-person assistance from a statewide network of certified brokers, community-based health coverage guides or application counselors.

For more information, visit

Be a cheerleader to help friends and family be more active

Sometimes, people can use a cheerleader to help them meet their goals. Cheering on a friend or family member who wants to be more physically active can be a great way to show support.

Following are some ideas from the National Institute on Aging to help motivate others to be more physically active.

• Listen to their challenges, brainstorm solutions, offer a pat on the back and celebrate progress.
• Volunteer to take over a household errand to make time for a friend or family member to go to his or her weekly exercise class or sports practice.
• Walk with your friends and family. Exercising together is a wonderful way to be active and build bonds.

For more information on motivating others to be more physically active, visit go4life.

Partnership to help VA increase mental health services

A competition that started in 2014 may result in improved mental health care for veterans.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has awarded a contract to Potentia Labs to create a program specifically for veterans. The partnership, which aims to help the growing number of veterans coping with depression and post traumatic stress began in 2014, when the VA Center for Innovation held an industry competition in search of ideas to expand mental health care options for its veterans.

“As someone who has served in the military, I’m grateful that the VA is holding innovative competitions like these to work to improve access to mental health care,” said Eric Lenhardt, a U.S. Army veteran and co-founder of Potentia Lab, in a news release.

Most mental health services focus on alleviating patients’ negative symptoms, whereas Potentia’s program takes the opposite approach, using the tenets of positive psychology to enhance traits such as confidence and optimism via an online platform and mobile app that reaches veterans wherever they are.

That accessibility is important, since studies suggest that, while many veterans seek help for depression and PTSD, a significant number never return after their first appointment.

“Most of the available options are aimed at addressing what’s wrong in veterans’ lives,” said Dustin Milner, CEO and co-founder of Potentia Labs, in a news release. “Our approach is more in line with the warrior mindset, building on veterans’ existing strengths to help them become the best version of themselves.”

During the next year, Potentia Labs will customize and expand its technology for veterans, using its gold standard mix of gaming technology and top-notch instructional design, as well as the expertise of the world’s top psychologists, to deliver the tools of mental fortitude to this latest generation of veterans.

“Potentia combines the best science with the most adaptive developmental technology to date,” said Dr. James Avey, a professor at Central Washington University, in a news release.

Avery has used his expertise to help develop Potentia’s curriculum, with the goal of helping users — including veterans — become more adept at bouncing back.

“As the grandson of a survivor of Pearl Harbor, it is very meaningful to me to help serve a group of people who serve us all,” Avery said.

For more information visit

Know the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia

“Alzheimer’s disease” and “dementia” are sometimes used interchangeably. What’s the difference between them?

Dementia is a loss of thinking, remembering and reasoning skills that interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Alzheimer’s, is the most common cause of dementia among older people.

Other types of dementia include frontotemporal disorders, vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia. All these types of dementia damage and kill neurons in the brain, which impacts a person’s ability to think, but in different ways and with different symptoms.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s web page at

Website created to address health problems in men
Created for working-age males approaching a crisis, as well as their loved ones, the website is a tool that helps men examine their own mental health and take a wide variety of actions that will put them on the path to treatment and recovery.

Using humor to cut through the denial and age-old stigma that mental health issues are unmanly and signs of weakness, Man Therapy reshapes the conversation about depression, anger, stress and even suicide by speaking to men, as men. Featuring Man Therapy’s iconic fictional therapist, Dr. Rich Mahogany, the site offers online self-help therapies, cognitive behavior therapy tools, connections to third-party mental health apps and telehealth resources. With wit and humor, Man Therapy meets men where they are.

Since its launch in 2012, Man Therapy has helped more than 800,000 visitors from around the world. The campaign is the result of a unique partnership between Cactus, a Denver-based advertising agency, and the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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