search
info
facebook
twitter
youtube
Flickr
instagram
pinterest
Home Blog Wellness Series Wraps with Andrew Romanoff

Wellness Series Wraps with Andrew Romanoff

By Amiee White Beazley 05/09/2019
In April, CRMS welcomed Andrew Romanoff to campus as the final speaker in the school’s year-long series of lectures and film screenings centered around wellness. The former President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, Romanoff is widely known as a powerful advocate for mental healthcare. Now he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate with sights on challenging sitting Colorado Senator, Cory Gardner.

The morning began with Romanoff (once Colorado’s Speaker of the House of Representatives) visiting two of A.O. Forbes’ senior elective GeoPolitical Studies classes. He spoke of his time working at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and answered students’ questions on marriage equality, campaign finance reform and the influence of lobbyists money, as well as climate change policy.

“If we don’t get that right, nothing else much matters,” he said of the need for immediate action on climate change. “It’s not a partisan point.”

During his time with the students Romanoff also talked about how he created his campaign platform, noting his views reflect the people he spends time with and listening to their issues – even CRMS’s teen population who are on the verge of gaining their voting rights. “You have a role here, too,” he told them. “I’m hoping you can lead the way.”

Romanoff is not just a politician. After his time at the Colorado State Capital, he took the lead role at Mental Health Colorado, “the state’s leading advocate in promoting mental health, ending stigma, and ensuring equitable access to mental health and substance use services.” While at All School Meeting, he took the opportunity to address the entire student body by discussing his lifelong dedication to improve mental health care.

He argued for more mental health caregivers in schools, as well as additional funding for local mental healthcare facilities (he estimated Colorado ranks 43rd in healthcare funding). His vision includes improved ways to access mental healthcare, more affordably, and training teachers and staff to recognize symptoms and engage family and parents.

“Someone dies of suicide every 11 minutes. That’s 44,000 people every year,” he noted.

While the statistics were sobering, it was Romanoff’s personal connection to mental health tragedy that captured the students’ attention.

Romanoff told the story of his first cousin, whom he considered to be a younger sister. At age 35, she took her own life, despite being from a family of professional caregivers and showing no signs of suicidal tendency. An otherwise healthy woman with a promising career, “Mental illness was the only thing that could have killed her at age 35,” he said.

He wrapped his appearance at CRMS with a vision to stop stigmatizing mental illness. “It’s not a character flaw,” he said. “I want to abolish the term ‘mental illness’ because it distinguishes itself from physical illness. Don’t treat the brain separately from the rest of the body.”

His hope, he said, is that by sharing ways for young people to recognize and treat mental illness early on, it will lead to improved outcomes for those struggling. “It doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” he said. “This is a war we can win.”
Topics:

Blog

Home Blog Wellness Series Wraps with Andrew Romanoff

Wellness Series Wraps with Andrew Romanoff

By Amiee White Beazley 05/09/2019
In April, CRMS welcomed Andrew Romanoff to campus as the final speaker in the school’s year-long series of lectures and film screenings centered around wellness. The former President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, Romanoff is widely known as a powerful advocate for mental healthcare. Now he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate with sights on challenging sitting Colorado Senator, Cory Gardner.

The morning began with Romanoff (once Colorado’s Speaker of the House of Representatives) visiting two of A.O. Forbes’ senior elective GeoPolitical Studies classes. He spoke of his time working at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and answered students’ questions on marriage equality, campaign finance reform and the influence of lobbyists money, as well as climate change policy.

“If we don’t get that right, nothing else much matters,” he said of the need for immediate action on climate change. “It’s not a partisan point.”

During his time with the students Romanoff also talked about how he created his campaign platform, noting his views reflect the people he spends time with and listening to their issues – even CRMS’s teen population who are on the verge of gaining their voting rights. “You have a role here, too,” he told them. “I’m hoping you can lead the way.”

Romanoff is not just a politician. After his time at the Colorado State Capital, he took the lead role at Mental Health Colorado, “the state’s leading advocate in promoting mental health, ending stigma, and ensuring equitable access to mental health and substance use services.” While at All School Meeting, he took the opportunity to address the entire student body by discussing his lifelong dedication to improve mental health care.

He argued for more mental health caregivers in schools, as well as additional funding for local mental healthcare facilities (he estimated Colorado ranks 43rd in healthcare funding). His vision includes improved ways to access mental healthcare, more affordably, and training teachers and staff to recognize symptoms and engage family and parents.

“Someone dies of suicide every 11 minutes. That’s 44,000 people every year,” he noted.

While the statistics were sobering, it was Romanoff’s personal connection to mental health tragedy that captured the students’ attention.

Romanoff told the story of his first cousin, whom he considered to be a younger sister. At age 35, she took her own life, despite being from a family of professional caregivers and showing no signs of suicidal tendency. An otherwise healthy woman with a promising career, “Mental illness was the only thing that could have killed her at age 35,” he said.

He wrapped his appearance at CRMS with a vision to stop stigmatizing mental illness. “It’s not a character flaw,” he said. “I want to abolish the term ‘mental illness’ because it distinguishes itself from physical illness. Don’t treat the brain separately from the rest of the body.”

His hope, he said, is that by sharing ways for young people to recognize and treat mental illness early on, it will lead to improved outcomes for those struggling. “It doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” he said. “This is a war we can win.”
Topics:
info
facebook
twitter
youtube
Flickr
instagram
pinterest
CRMS
500 Holden Way
Carbondale, CO 81623
admission@crms.org
970.963.2562
Copyright © 2015 • All Rights Reserved
Design by words pictures colours