Mental health: professional wellbeing resources should be better prioritized (Opinion)

Welcome to The Mav’s mental health editorial series: The Patchwork Project

Anonymous, Writer

All opinions are those of the writers themselves and do not promote any official view or stance of Mead High School or St. Vrain Valley Schools. 

This article contains sensitive discussion surrounding self destructive behavior and suicidal thoughts that may be triggering to some readers. Reader discretion is advised. If you or someone you know is experiencing self harm, suicidal thoughts, or any other safety or mental health concerns, please refer to the professional medical resources found at the bottom of this page.

Growing up, I always thought there was something wrong with me. I struggled with thinking and acting differently than other kids my age. I’ve never been able to put this into words or explain how I felt.

Not long after I turned 12, things took a turn. I was diagnosed with anxiety, MDD, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, mood disorders, and personality disorders. This has led to unstable relationships, self destruction, and trouble dealing with school and social situations.

Society sees teenage girls as overly dramatic and emotional, blaming their struggles on the hormones they’re dealing with. I was told by many people, including professionals, that my struggles were from me being hormonally emotional and that I’d “grow out of it”. I felt very misunderstood and alone. It seemed like no one was really listening to me. I knew I needed to reach out for more help, but I had no idea where to even begin.

I feared that my friends and family would see me as weak if they knew I was struggling. Reaching out to my school counselor was my first step to getting help, she was able to provide me with specific accommodations to make school more manageable for me.

Outside of school I still felt lost. There is such a lack of resources available due to the high demand for mental health help. I was constantly on the end of a waiting list or in waiting rooms for hours, sometimes even days. It was a constant waiting game — I eventually gave up on asking for help because I felt stuck.

I tried everything I could to feel okay. I became incredibly self destructive and found very unhealthy ways to numb my feelings. These coping mechanisms I had been using quickly turned into an addiction I felt I had no control over.

As my family and friends’ grew more concerned, they felt I was no longer safe to be in my house. I was sent to multiple hospitals and placed in psych wards far from home. As a minor in the mental hospital, your parents lose their rights to make decisions for you and can’t stay in the unit with you. Being a 13-year-old in this situation was terrifying — I had never been away from my mom.

While I was in the hospital, I felt I was being punished for the way I felt. The second you get admitted they search you and take all your belongings, including your clothing and phone. Your privacy is gone. Security guards and cameras are constantly watching your every move. You can’t write with pencils or eat your food with a fork. You can’t go to the bathroom by yourself, or even take a shower without constant eyes on you.

It felt like what I expect jail to feel. Long weeks went by in the hospital and I felt worse. It seemed as long as I was still alive it didn’t matter why I felt the way I did.

Months went on. I was in the hospital multiple times every month, stuck in my “jail cell”. I was put on lists and lists of medications and things still seemed to only be getting worse. I thought I had run out of options.

After being in the hospital, I realized the many things that need to change in the way hospitals are helping young teens like myself.

The mental health system is so overworked that there aren’t enough resources. Hospitals are overflowing with kids and have no space. Mental health practices have waitlists pages long, but don’t have enough counselors.

Mental health can be a life or death situation and there needs to be changes. It should be a priority just like any other illness.

My mom has been one of my biggest supports throughout my life. Though it was hard on our relationship, it also helped us grow closer. She worked super hard to understand me and what I needed. She spent many hours driving to parent classes and finding doctors and therapists.

Small changes can benefit many. Becoming educated on mental health is crucial, though it may seem overbearing. You can help those struggling to feel supported. Even through the hardest times, I grew and learned so much about myself and what I want my future to look like. Finding things to support me and better my situation hasn’t been easy, but it’s important to advocate for yourself and be honest about what you need.

Things can get overwhelming quickly, so it’s important to feel supported at all times of the day. Starting a DBT skills workbook can help you to better yourself and find new ways to cope. A book I recommend if you’re struggling is “The Courage to Trust”. It is a great way to find new ways to deal with overwhelming things and create healthier relationships.


If you or someone you know is seriously struggling negatively with mental health or mental illness, has been practicing unhealthy coping mechanisms, or is experiencing any form of suicidal thoughts or ideations, please reach out for help.

In case of an emergency in personal health and safety, call 911.

The Weld County crisis walk-in service, North Range Behavioral Health, can be found on 928 12th St., Greeley, CO 80631. For Boulder County, Boulder Crisis Services can be reached at (844) 493-8255.

The local crisis phone number, available 24/7, is the following: (970) 347-2120

If not in a crisis, the North Range Warm Line is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and offers professional mental health services for free. They can be found at (970) 347-2359. This service is also available in Spanish.

Colorado Crisis Services can be found at (844) 493-8255. You can also text “TALK” to 38255.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be found at (800) 273-8255 for those in serious and immediate threats to safety.

Other mental health resources include the North Colorado Medical Center/Banner Health — you can call (970) 810-4121 or visit 1801 16th St., Greeley, CO 80631 — as well as the UCHealth Greeley Hospital. The hospital can be reached at (970) 652-2000. Their address is 6767 W. 29th St., Greeley, CO 80634.