Mental health is becoming a political issue – and that’s a good thing. Next Tuesday, October 18, the Colorado U.S. Senate candidates — Democratic incumbent Senator Michael Bennett and his Republican challenger, Joe O’Dea — will discuss their plans to improve mental health outcomes and address the mental health crisis nationwide and in Colorado.

MindSite News will partner with Inseparable, Healthier Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center to host the “Meeting of the Minds.”

“Voters across the political spectrum want elected leaders to address mental health concerns,” said Jake Williams, the CEO of Healthier Colorado. “Everybody knows somebody who struggles with issues such as depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder. Our tragic rates of suicide and drug overdoses have sent painful ripples throughout communities across our state. Getting people the mental and behavioral health support they need is certainly a political issue, but it shouldn’t be a partisan one.”

The forum comes at a critical time for Colorado residents concerned about mental health issues.

“Our young people and their families need help,” said Ron-Li Liaw, Mental Health-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “This election season, sounding the alarm for youth mental health is critical.”

The leading cause of death for youth between 15 and 19 is suicide, according to Generation Better: Actionable Policy Solutions on Mental Health for the Next Generation, a research paper by Healthier Colorado. Six out of ten Coloradans experienced anxiety, depression, loneliness, or stress, according to a poll from the Colorado Health Foundation. 

The forum will be held on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus at 10 a.m. Mountain Time Tuesday, Oct. 18, and will be live-streamed on the Facebook page of MindSite News.