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Behavioral Health

Momentum – Beacon’s progress bringing Zero Suicide to life

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Sometimes we get so involved working on an initiative, it’s hard to mark our own progress.

One year ago at this time, Beacon Health Options was still drafting our suicide prevention white paper. In February 2017, Beacon released, “We Need to Talk About Suicide.”

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And the diagnosis is . . .

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It’s first grade and the assignment is to draw Three Blind Mice.

All the kids around me had cute pictures it seemed, but mine was a big blob, looking as though someone had thrown up. This is my first memory of feeling behind in school.

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From misdiagnosis to stability: A story of struggle, of hope

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My story is really about one of my daughters.

To protect her privacy as I tell her story, I’ll call her Elizabeth. Elizabeth has had suicidal ideations from since she was about 12 to about 17. At 4 years old, she was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Suicide’s common tale: ‘If only I had spoken with him’

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I first met “Ted” when I was barely 18, both of us transients in a city of transients where superficial friendships were the common social norm.

Ted was about 10 years older, and although we never dated, we had maintained casual contact with each other. We never discussed our personal history or hopes for the future, but I had sensed a deep, quiet loneliness about him that meshed with my own.

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Dealing with LGBT consumers’ anxiety this LGBT Pride Month

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Perhaps there’s a good reason it took me until late June, LGBT Pride Month, to write this blog.

The fact is, as a gay man in 2017, I don’t feel proud; I feel anxious. As both a clinician and a consumer of behavioral health services, I’m in a unique position to appreciate why LGBT folks are increasingly nervous today.

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Sharing a suicide story: Recovery is in the telling

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Suicide has had an impact on my life since I was a young child.

My grandfather completed suicide when I was just 5 years old. I saw the impact on my family from a child’s eyes, but the true depth of that impact wouldn’t come to pass until later in life.

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Plugging into mental health care: Digital mental health in Colorado

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Beacon Health Options is building a lot of bridges to ensure that its members get the quality care they deserve, bridges that span both oceans and mountains.

Beacon has partnered with Ieso Digital Health, a United Kingdom-based firm with a unique digital mental health delivery platform, to provide mental health services for members in Colorado’s Medicaid program, many of whom live in remote rural and frontier areas, stranded from accessible services.

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The many faces of suicide

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The phone rings, early on a Sunday morning. I’m excited, as it is a childhood friend whom I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with; only she asks me to let my parents know that her brother committed suicide the night before.

No words can describe the pain heard and felt. Of course, as outsiders, as onlookers, our first unspoken questions are “How did this happen?” “How did he do it?”

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National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day spotlights the need for integrated care

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Thursday, May 4, was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day whose theme this year, “Partnering for Help and Hope”, rings particularly true with Beacon Health Options.

Highlighting the importance of integrating behavioral health and primary care for children, youth and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders, the day brings to light the many innovative Beacon programs and solutions that integrate behavioral health and primary care. At Beacon, we view the community as integral to the solution.

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Youth suicide: The conversation starts with our children

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The toughest speech I have ever given in my life – and candidly to the most important audience – was not to a room of politicians or colleagues.

Those speeches seem so easy now in retrospect. My toughest public-speaking moment was delivering the eulogy of my son’s very best friend, Adam.

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