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Introducing Jefferson Center’s ‘Serving Those Who Served’ Summit

Introducing Jefferson Center’s ‘Serving Those Who Served’ Summit

Mental Health Month brings much attention to not only the conversations around mental health, but also what needs to be done to expand care. Mental health conditions are common, manageable, and treatable. There are many things that can affect your mental well-being, including: life events, school, work, major changes, relationships, and more. As a result, 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health condition in any given year. Providing a full range of services to address these needs is core to Jefferson Center for Mental Health.

At Jefferson Center, we serve all clients regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, social status, or a variety of other factors. But in this post, we want to highlight a population that is disproportionately affected by mental health conditions in Colorado; our Veterans and families of those who served. In Colorado, Veterans and active-duty service members account for 20% of all suicides and make up only 9% of the state’s population (Colorado Health Institute). Nationwide, Veterans are 57% more likely to commit suicide than those who have not served and it is the second-leading cause of death among Veterans under the age of 45 (VA). Zero Suicide is our goal for everyone, including Veterans and Service Members. Other conditions affecting our Veterans include PTSD, substance use disorders, higher incidences of being unhoused, and more.

The Veteran and Military Family Services team at Jefferson Center provides care for all branches, all duty statuses, all discharge statuses, and the families of these groups. The members in this team are Veterans themselves, family members to someone service-connected, or have strong ties to this community. The Veteran and Military Family Services team had a vision of bringing Veteran and Military Family community partners together to spread awareness and expand access to services within Colorado. April 17th, 2024 marked the first annual Serving Those Who Served, Summit

This event, hosted at the Colorado Gives Foundation, brought together 41 Veteran and/or active-duty services community partners. In addition, a diverse showing of attendees including behavioral/mental health, the VA, case management, service animals, recreational therapy, housing, and more. During this event, community partners discussed strengths and weaknesses of the current infrastructure and access to services available to our Veterans. Some strengths mentioned were trust, an eagerness to collaborate, and building connections and community. Conversely, it was recognized that the system is reactive and bureaucratic and that more funding and quicker and easier access to care were needed.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health condition and needs support, please contact Jefferson Center for Mental Health at (303) 425-0300. You don’t have to go through your struggles alone.

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    Jefferson Center provides client-centered services designed to meet your individual mental health, substance use, and wellness needs. We’re dedicated to meeting you where you are in your journey and working together to help you live a satisfying and hopeful life.

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