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Colorado State Publications Blog

Government Shutdown Resources

If you or a family member are affected by the recent government shutdown, the State of Colorado is stepping in to help. Furloughed workers are currently permitted to file for unemployment benefits. See Governor Polis’s press release for an overview, and visit the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment’s unemployment website for more details and to apply. Note that if federal workers do receive back pay after the shutdown ends, they are expected to reimburse the State for their unemployment benefits.

The Colorado Department of Education has added page on their website with education resources to help families during the shutdown. Here you can find links to food assistance and other benefits. You can also find information about assistance and benefits at the Colorado Department of Human Services website. See the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website if you need information about making insurance payments during the shutdown.

Finally, Colorado 211, a human services referral agency, has a list of helpful resources on their site. Coloradans are welcome to contact 211 directly, via phone or online chat, for further assistance.

 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

New Report on Youth Suicide Prevention

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office just released a new report, Community Conversations to Inform Youth Suicide Prevention: A Study of Youth Suicide in Four Colorado Counties, which is now available to view online from our library. The report examines the growing rates of youth suicide in El Paso, La Plata, Mesa, and Pueblo counties, which have the state’s highest rates of teen suicide. In El Paso County alone, the number of suicide deaths in the 10-18 age group doubled from 2014 to 2017, according to the report, which analyzed statistical data as well as information from focus groups, interviews, and community feedback. Statistical data analysis was conducted from “death certificate, hospitalization and emergency department data, the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, the Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System and the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey.” The latter three programs are all sponsored by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, whose website includes data as well as resources on prevention.

You can also find more information on youth suicide in these other resources from our library:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community

A recent news story discussed a new state audit report assessing the Fort Lyon residential facility – but the news report failed to actually link to the report. You can view the report here. The report provides a cost-benefit analysis of the facility and an assessment of success rates.

Fort Lyon, in Bent County, served as a U.S. Army fort from 1867 to 1897. In the twentieth century it was used as a veteran’s hospital, and then as a minimum security prison from 2001-2011. In 2013 the site reopened as a rehab facility for homeless persons. The facility includes not only housing, but programs to help residents overcome substance abuse issues. It is not a correctional facility – residents live there by choice.

Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community is run by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. To learn more, visit the facility’s website.

Residents of Fort Lyon get to live in the campus’s historic buildings. Photo courtesy DOLA.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Mindsource Brain Injury Network

If you’re looking for resources and information on brain injuries, the Colorado Department of Human Services has a new website that may be of help. The MINDSOURCE Brain Injury Network, mindsourcecolorado.org, is a site for Coloradans with brain injury and their families and caregivers. “MINDSOURCE manages the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund, provides training and technical assistance regarding brain injury for public and private entities, and manages the federal traumatic brain injury grant.” Visit the site for resource links and training information; grant programs; state reports; and a newsletter.
For further Colorado resources on brain injury search our library’s online catalog or see our recent blog post.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Video Resources from the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind

The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) not only provides services to students enrolled at the school, but also provides “outreach programs [that] serve students, staff, and families in communities throughout Colorado.” One of the ways CSDB reaches out to the community is through the many video resources they offer. Some of these provide helpful information for teachers of deaf and/or blind students. Others help the community understand these disabilities and how students are overcoming them and thriving.

On the CSDB website, you can find links to these videos. An introductory video about CSDB includes an audio-described version. CSDB has also produced a number of videos on American Sign Language. These include quick videos that anyone can use to learn sign language, and are also useful to sign language instructors. One of the highlights is their “Signs of the Month” series of short videos that teach a few sign words to go with the month or season. For example, in the June video you can learn about signs for flowers and gardening.

CSDB also broadcasts community segments on cable TV. To learn more about these segments or to view them online, click here. Finally, to view all of CSDB’s videos, including webinars, instructional tools, a series of “role model” interviews, technology information, provider information, employability resources, and “Voices of CSDB” interviews, visit the CSDB YouTube channel.

To learn more about CSDB, view their annual reports available online from our library.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Job Hunting for People with Disabilities

Many Colorado businesses offer opportunities for persons with disabilities to become employed, a situation which can greatly enhance the person’s life.  If you or someone you know is disabled and looking for employment in Colorado, be sure to view A Job-Hunting Guide for Colorado Citizens with Disabilities, produced by the Colorado Career Web of the Community Colleges of Colorado and available online from our library.

State publications of possible interest to employers include Colorado’s Disability Program Navigators and Systems Change Employment Initiatives:  An Evaluation Report and Final Report on Employment and Community Participation Recommendations.  For further resources visit our library’s online catalog.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Mental Health and Crisis Services

The State of Colorado has many resources for those who are in crisis, and those who serve them.

If you are a Coloradan experiencing a mental health, substance abuse, or emotional crisis, you can dial the 24-hour Colorado Crisis Services Hotline, 1-844-493-TALK(8255).  The hotline provides immediate, confidential support from a licensed counselor or other mental health professional.  Translation services are available for non-English speakers.  The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), which administers the hotline, also offers eleven walk-in crisis centers across the state.  These services are free.

http://coloradocrisisservices.org/

If you are a mental health professional or are looking to become one, you can find a number of resources in our library that offer information on licensing, education, best practices, and other mental health topics.  Some helpful resources for professionals include:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Adoption Resources

November has been declared National Adoption Month, to bring awareness to the thousands of children awaiting adoption, as well as to recognize and celebrate those families that have brought adopted children into their home. 

If you are considering becoming an adoptive parent, it can be difficult to know where and how to begin the process.  There are legal requirements to understand, and decisions to be made about types of adoption (international, private, or through the foster care system).  Luckily, the Colorado Department of Human Services has put together a helpful website to launch potential adoptive parents on their journey.  The Colorado Foster Care and Adoption website includes such helpful pages as How to Start the Adoption Process in Colorado; the Colorado Heart Gallery, which profiles Colorado children awaiting adoption; information on counseling, training, and adoption events; information on becoming a foster parent; profiles of Colorado adoptive families; kinship care; local and national resources and links; and much more.

Our library also has numerous publications that can help prospective parents navigate the adoption process, or for researchers looking for information and statistics about adoption in Colorado:

If you are an adult who was adopted, and are in need of your birth certificate, adoption certificate, or other legal information, or are interested in connecting with your birth parents or siblings, visit the Colorado Vital Records Office’s Adoption website.

For more resources, search our library’s online catalog.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Child Care Provider Resources

If you are involved in child care in Colorado, there are many laws and regulations you must be aware of.  Here in our library we have a number of publications that can help child care providers navigate the many safety and health requirements for child care facilities and operations.

Search our library’s online catalog for additional resources.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Suicide in Colorado

Colorado’s suicide rate is climbing. Since 2009 the suicide death rate has increased each year. To put things in perspective, according to the Office of Suicide Prevention Annual Report 2014-15,  the number of suicide deaths in 2014 exceeded the number of deaths from homicide (172), motor vehicle crash (486), breast cancer (553), influenza and pneumonia (668), and diabetes (826).

So what can we do?
The first step is to learn about the risk factors and warning signs and then find help for someone who may be suicidal.

Some warning signs:

  • If a person talks about being a burden to others, or feeling trapped.
  • Behavior changes: increased use of alcohol or drugs; acting recklessly; isolating themselves from family and friends; researching ways to kill themselves
  • Mood indicators: depression, loss of interest, rage, anxiety.

For more in-depth information, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website.

If you or someone you know shows signs of being suicidal, seek help. There are two hotlines for immediate assistance:
1-800-273-TALK, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and
1-844-493-TALK, the Colorado Crisis and Support Line

More information and materials on suicide prevention, can be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s suicide prevention site.

If you want to crunch the numbers yourself, visit the Colorado Trauma Registry (part of the Colorado Health Information Dataset). You can pick a “Quick Report” showing suicide by year, county and gender, or in the Customized Report section you can build more detailed reports to compare data by county, regions, age, and gender.

For additional reading, take a look at these titles from our collection:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Industries for the Blind

During the 1950s the State of Colorado sponsored a program, run by a five-member board, that provided jobs for blind persons.  Colorado Industries for the Blind, or C.I.B., was modeled after a federal program and supported by state sales taxes.  It focused on four areas:  manufacturing, vending stands, rehabilitation, and home industries.

Employees on the manufacturing side produced brooms, brushes, mops, and rubber mats in a special C.I.B. workshop.  “Home industries,” similar to manufacturing, gave blind Coloradans the opportunity to make household items like aprons and ironing board covers.  The items would then be sold to blind door-to-door salesmen to resell.  In 1953, there were 12 persons making these household items.  Each was paid only on average $100 a year, the highest-earning worker being paid $460.

Workers at the vending stands earned substantially better pay than the household item manufacturers, but also put in more hours and didn’t have the option of working from the comfort of their homes like the home industries workers.  Vending stand operators earned between $100 and $440 per month.

The rehabilitation program’s purpose was to “find, train and place blind persons in a productive, self-sustaining capacity,” according to a 1954 legislative report available from our library.  From 1951-1953, the report notes, the program placed 94 blind persons in productive employment, including the manufacturing and vending programs described above as well as lathe operators, typists, press operators, and defense plant workers.  Others were able to begin self-employment.

The State of Colorado sponsored industrial programs for the blind, operating under various names, from the early twentieth century until about the 1970s.  A report of the program as it operated in 1912 is also available for checkout from our library.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

June has been designated as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.  Alzheimer’s and related dementias affect over 47 million people worldwide.  The disease has been found to be linked to genetics so if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, it is smart to be aware of the disease and how it could affect you or your loved ones.  Colorado issued a state Alzheimer’s disease plan in 2010, which you can find in our library.  Our collection also includes several quick, easy-to-understand resources on Alzeheimer’s from Colorado State University, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia from their Family and Youth Institute and Alzheimer’s Disease from the University Cooperative Extension.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

Under Colorado law nearly 40 different professions are required to report cases of child abuse and neglect.  However, many people in these professions have reported not receiving the proper training on mandatory reporting.  To find out if you are in one of the professions that is required to report, see the list posted at the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)’s website.  If you find your profession in this list and feel that you need additional training, you can access a free online training course from CDHS.

For more resources on this topic see the following resources, available from our library:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado State Hospital

The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP), formerly known as the Colorado State Hospital, is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year.  (See the news story from the Colorado Department of Human Services.)  The institution was founded as the Colorado State Insane Asylum on October 23, 1879.  It grew from 12 patients that year to over 6,000 by the 1960s, according to the CMHIP’s history page.  Today the population is around 500. 

You can find further historical information on the State Hospital at our library.  Helpful resources include:

  • Colorado State Hospital (1981)
  • Colorado State Hospital Decentralization Plan (1962)
  • Biennial Report (1919-1951) and Annual Report (1952-1962)
  • The Colorado State Hospital and Related Services for the Mentally Ill in Colorado:  A Survey Report (1958)

Photo courtesy Colorado Department of Human Services

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Suicide Prevention Week

Governor Hickenlooper has declared the week of September 7-13, 2014, to be Colorado Suicide Prevention week (see the governor’s proclamation here.)  Suicide is the leading cause of accidental/injury death in Colorado.  Our library has many resources on suicide and suicide prevention.  Some highlights include:

Also be sure and check the website for the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention for additional resources.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Child Support Resources

August is Child Support Awareness Month.  Our library has a number of resources on child support that can help you navigate the process.  Examples of publications on this topic available from the State Publications Library include:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Prescription Drug Abuse

The State of Colorado has taken on the issue of prescription drug abuse after a national survey ranked Colorado as the second-worst among all fifty states for abusing.  You can read more about the survey and Colorado’s efforts to combat this problem at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Prescription Drug Misuse Prevention website.  Also, last fall Governor Hickenlooper’s office released a report, the Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse.

Abuse of prescription drugs includes taking prescriptions that were prescribed to someone else; taking prescription drugs in a manner not prescribed by the doctor (i.e. taking more than the prescribed dose, or for something other than which they were prescribed); otherwise obtaining prescriptions illegally; or not properly disposing of leftover or unwanted medications.  Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death.  Yesterday Governor Hickenlooper signed legislation to modify and update the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the state’s program for combating prescription drug abuse.  According to the Governor’s media advisory, the legislation will help save lives and bring Colorado in line with national standards.  “In 2012, more than twice as many people in Colorado died from overdose due to opioid pain killers (295) than from drunk driving-related crashes (133),” reports the Department of Regulatory Agencies.   

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Community Performance Center: Child Welfare Data from the Colorado Department of Human Services

You may have seen mention in the newspaper of a new website from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), titled Community Performance Center, or cdhsdatamatters.org.  This site provides data and information on topics related to child welfare, including child abuse and neglect, permanency, visitation, out-of-home care, and more.  Data is presented by topic and by county or judicial district.  There is also a section on the site where you can report child abuse, and a feature that allows users to sign up for data updates.  This site is an important part of CDHS’s goal of transparency for child welfare services. 

www.cdhsdatamatters.org
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Colorado State Publications Blog

Brain Injury Resources

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has produced a new guidebook, Brain Injury in Children and Youth:  A Manual for Educators, that can assist school personnel in identifying and understanding concussions and other brain injuries that can occur in children.  For more brain injury resources from CDE, see their Brain Injury website.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

SB14-002: Safe2Tell Program

SB14-002, regarding the Safe2Tell program, is making its way through the Legislature.  Safe2Tell is a service which teens can use to anonymously report threats to themselves, their school, or someone they know.  Currently a 501c3 nonprofit, the Senate Bill will make the program part of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and provide approximately $277,000 in state funding.  For more on Safe2Tell, click here.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Homeless Programs

The Colorado Governor’s Office, the Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs – Division of Housing, and various local nonprofits have teamed up to produce a new report, Pathways Home Colorado:  Ensuring All Coloradans Have a Place to Call HomeThe report takes a look at the various initiatives around the state that are working toward reducing homelessness.  For more information and links to resources, visit the Division of Housing’s Homeless Programs page.