On Edge: Colorado's Mental Health Crisis

On Edge is part of a statewide reporting project from the Colorado News Collaborative (CoLab). KSUT joined CoLab in 2020.

The intent of On Edge is to foster conversation about mental health in a state where stigma runs high.

This project is supported in part by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Reporting and a grant honoring the memory of the late Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal.

Help is available if you’re struggling. Call Colorado’s crisis hotline: 1-844-493-TALK(8255).

On Edge: Veteran Paramedic Grapples With Post-COVID Toll On His Lungs and His Sense of Self

Mar 22, 2021
Marc Piscotty

Even now, nearly three months after COVID invaded his body, Jason McGinnis cannot stop asking himself how he contracted the virus.

On Edge: After Wanting to Die, Learning to Live

Mar 10, 2021
Marc Piscotty

Seventeen-year-old Navee Essien of Aurora tried to end her life in November. She since has been diagnosed with bipolar, anxiety and major depressive disorders, and is learning to manage them.

On Edge: Caring For the Essentials

Mar 4, 2021
PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

For the time being, the children of city employees, hospital staffers and other essential workers are still romping around Little Angels Daycare.

On Edge: For Tylan Jones, Anxiety is Also a Battle Between Optimism and Pessimism

Feb 28, 2021
Marc Piscotty

Tylan Jones is not naive. He is a 20-year-old Black man living in the United States. This reality does not easily accommodate naivete.

On Edge: When Politics Feels Like Moral Injury

Feb 28, 2021
Marc Piscotty

Scott Zayatz upped his dosage of antidepression and antianxiety medication in early spring when the pandemic started clobbering the nation and the presidential race, post-primary, turned foul.

On Edge: Colorado’s Behavioral Health Chief Opens Up About His Own Severe Depression

Feb 21, 2021
Marc Piscotty

Some words fail us, and for Robert Werthwein, “depression” is one of them.

On Edge: How Friendship Can Be a Safety Net

Feb 17, 2021
Dean Humphrey for COLab

Laurel Carpenter and Melissa Humphrey, two 30-something nurses, moms and best friends in Grand Junction, rely on each other for support with anxiety.

Marc Piscotty

Jimmy Brown is Kiowa County's elected coroner, its only funeral director and a third-generation. Exceptional drought has prompted increases in anxiety and depression, but getting people to talk about it won't be easy.

Marc Piscotty / © 2020

Millete Birhanemaskel, a refugee, long-time Denver resident and businesswoman, grappled with 2020 as many others have. And she managed to keep her coffee shop, the Whittier Cafe, from going under. But the anxieties of the past year became magnitudes greater on Nov. 3, as Americans and much of the world awaited election results, civil war flared again in her family’s home country of Ethiopia and her grandmother and two aunts went missing.

On Edge: First, COVID Took His Friends, Then it Took His Health

Feb 5, 2021
Marc Piscotty / © 2020

Eddie Kemm is 81 and lives alone. The pandemic robbed him of his social life, but he found a way to cope. Until he got sick.

For One Lakewood Family, Mental Health Difficulties Arent Just About the Pandemic

Feb 2, 2021
Marc Piscotty / © 2020

In another installment of the statewide mental health reporting project On Edge, we meet the Barfoot family.

Marc Piscotty / © 2020

In the latest installment of On Edge, we meet Dr. Patricia Westmoreland, who keeps scrubbing her hands because, during a pandemic, it's on of the few things she can control.

On Edge: Virtual School Nets Real Anxiety — “This is Not Working”

Jan 27, 2021
Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

In the next part of our series On Edge, we meet middle schooler Brooklyn Colbert. She's always liked going to school. Until recently. Remote learning in the age of COVID has changed things. And it's putting stress on students, educators, and parents.

On Edge: A Denver COVID Survivor Finds Her Footing Amid Her Fears

Jan 25, 2021
Marc Piscotty

COVID killed Elizabeth Torres's grandpa and nearly killed her. Now, she is combatting fears that she will catch the virus again and that this time it will kill her. This story is the latest in an ongoing series called On Edge, exploring the growing mental health challenges in Colorado.

Marc Piscotty

In part two of the series On Edge, we meet Dick Carleton of Breckenridge. He's watched the pandemic tear away at the social fabric of the town. On Edge is an ongoing online series on the growing mental health challenges in Colorado, featuring the work of more than 100 news organizations statewide.


The pandemic. A shaky economy. Wildfires. Polarizing politics. There's plenty to be stressed out about these days. You're not alone. Over the coming weeks, KSUT will share online stories of everyday Coloradans and how they're grappling with the blows of recent events. Read more about “On Edge,” a statewide series on the growing mental health challenges in Colorado, featuring the work of more than 100 news organizations statewide.