Opinion: District Officials aim to Open a Much-Needed Mental Health Treatment Center in Fall 2023

Why the newly implemented Cherry Creek Schools Mental Health Treatment Center is a great idea


Dawson Patterson, Staffer

We all know that some people have mental health issues, Whether they are major or minor. A lot of people also don’t have the money to afford good-quality mental health care. CCSD students, however, will not have to worry about this for much longer, Because, in a recent press release, district officials stated that they will be teaming up with Children’s Hospital Colorado to open a new day treatment center for the district.  The facility cost $15 million and is scheduled to open sometime in fall 2023.

I think that this is a good thing because a lot of CCSD students have trouble with stress, anxiety, and depression. Students of Cherry Creek Schools haven’t had many options for the quality mental health care provided by the district, and with teen suicide rates on the rise, this will be a good way to help the CCSD students with mental health problems get the care they need in order to be able to be successful in school and in life. This center will provide good-quality mental health care to those who can’t afford it.

In a study done by the Mental Health Foundation, researchers found that 10% of children and youth aged 5-16 years have a clinically diagnosed mental health problem, yet 70% of those people have not had appropriate interventions at an early age. This is just further proof that school-aged individuals, not only here in Colorado, but all across the country, are not getting the mental health care they need to be successful in life. This is one of just many factors that lead to people having emotional breakdowns at school.

Teen suicide rates are rising as well. In a study done by UCLA Health for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), data analysts found that suicide is the second-leading cause of death in the USA. They also found that nearly 20% of high school students have reported serious thoughts of suicide or self-harm and that 9% of those students have made an attempt to end their lives. Harry Miller, a player on the Ohio State University football team, had attempted to take his life and admitted, “This is not an issue reserved for people who live halfway across the world in a country that is ripe with war and conflict, it is in our homes, it is in our conversations, it is in the people we love and care for.”

Another thing is that if you look on Google Maps or another navigation service, there aren’t many available options for students in Aurora, Colorado to get mental health care. This further worsens the problem by not providing enough mental health care for students in Aurora’s schools to get the mental health care that they need.  This is a major problem that needs to be fixed and the new CCSD mental health treatment center is going to be one of the first facilities to provide affordable mental health care for students.

The fact that CCSD is doing this is a great thing, and I think that every school district, not only in Aurora, but across the United States, should get into the habit of doing. I mean, it would tremendously help lower the country’s suicide rates, and that is an amazing thing in itself.