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Local organization aims to include the excluded

Mental health
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 01:30:30-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado is the worst place in America for adults dealing with any mental illness, according to Mental Health America.

The community-based nonprofit ranks every state based on mental health each year. In 2021, Colorado was ranked 48 on the list, but so far in 2022 it is sitting at 51 (Washington D.C. is included on the list).

One organization in Colorado Springs is working to change this statistic by creating a space each week for people who feel exclude to be included.

"This is a place where no one gets laughed at, or mocked in any way, shape, or form," says Tami Urbanek, President of the Universal Education Foundation.

The UEF hosts a Young Adult Peer group every Tuesday evening from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at 301 E. Platte Avenue in downtown Colorado Springs.

"It's pretty much changed my life for the better. I started going to therapy since coming here. I don't look in the mirror every day and hate myself, or feel bad about myself. I feel like I have people I can go to talk to when I feel alone," said one girl attending the group.

According to Mental Health America, over 5% of adults in Colorado have had suicidal thoughts, but Urbanek hopes the peer group changes that for some.

"It's really our mission to help young adults understand that they are worthy of love, they're worthy of friendship, they're worthy of passion."
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