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New app aims to empower communities for better mental health tre - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

New app aims to empower communities for better mental health treatment

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Mental Health Colorado President and CEO Andrew Romanoff, left, and Pikes Peak Regional Coordinator Anderson Miller, right, demonstrate their new data dashboard Mental Health Colorado President and CEO Andrew Romanoff, left, and Pikes Peak Regional Coordinator Anderson Miller, right, demonstrate their new data dashboard
COLORADO SPRINGS -

More than a million people a year in Colorado experience either a mental health or substance abuse disorder. The state's leading advocate for treatment is announcing a high-tech tool to try an improve the public health response to these issues.

Mental Health Colorado has launched a new internet application they call the Data Dashboard. President and CEO Andrew Romanoff and Pikes Peak Regional Coordinator Anderson Miller stopped by the News 5 studios today to show us how it works.

The app allows users to review and compare statistical data about suicide rates, substance abuse and other aspects of mental illness treatment just simply clicking with a computer mouse or tapping the screen of a tablet. For example, users in El Paso County might see that the suicide rate of 23.1 deaths per 100,000 people is a few percentage points higher than the state average of 19.1 deaths.

"This is an issue that touches every single family in Colorado, but it's a problem we can solve and with good information," Romanoff said. "We think decision makers will be in a better place to solve it."

The data come from a variety public health surveys including the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey, the 2014 Colorado Child Health Survey and the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Miller hopes to work closely with county health departments in El Paso, Teller, Pueblo, and Otero counties to interpret the data and advocate for grants and policies that can improve areas of need.

Mental Health Colorado is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and an affiliate of Mental Health America. They advocate for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.

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