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Free mental health therapy for youth

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Free mental health therapy for youth


A pandemic-era program making mental health support accessible for young people in Colorado will become permanent, as state lawmakers have made the program permanent.

Thursday, May 16 is Mental Health Action Day and CBS News Colorado is highlighting ways we all can prioritize our mental health as high as our physical health.

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The free counseling offered to youth via “I Matter” has served more than 12,000 youth since its founding.

“It breaks down the barriers for our students to be able to access mental health, so I think this is huge,” said Nova Center Coordinator Emily Nickerson. 

The Nova Center is an alternative school in Littleton Public Schools.

Nickerson says the I Matter program, which offers up to six free counseling sessions with a licensed therapist, has been a game changer.

“I think it’s extremely accessible and easy for kids to navigate and for families to navigate,” Nickerson said.

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“This can be done through telehealth, this can be done in person, and there’s no cost,” said Matt Holtman, children and youth intergovernmental liaison at the Behavioral Health Administration.

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Since its launch in 2021, youth in 63 Colorado counties have taken part in some 47,000 therapy sessions. More than half of the sessions have been in person.

And 80% of youth end up being referred for additional behavioral health care. 

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“Even though it’s been wildly successful, again over 12,000 youth in Colorado, we know there’s more out there who haven’t accessed the program,” said Holtman.

For too long, I Matter’s proponents say, young people suffered in silence.

The most common reasons for seeking the therapy include anxiety, depression, concerns over self-esteem, and conflicts with family or peers.

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Behavioral Health Administration


“We have an additional opportunity for our kids to be able to access mental health, whether it’s during the school day or they’re at home but it just provides that opportunity,” said Nickerson.

Access I Matter therapy by going to its official website. 

Young people and their parents are encouraged to be as honest and forthright as possible in the questionnaire in order to be matched with the right therapist.

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One-third of Colorado hasn’t tested for toxic “forever chemicals” in their water. Here’s who has.

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One-third of Colorado hasn’t tested for toxic “forever chemicals” in their water. Here’s who has.


About one-third of Colorado’s municipalities and counties have not tested for toxic “forever chemicals” in their water supply.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or “PFAS,” can cause a host of health issues and CBS News Colorado has reported extensively on their impact and efforts throughout the state and country to limit their presence in drinking water.

About 300 water districts still haven’t started testing for PFAS, although the state says they have until 2026 to start testing, and 2029 to begin implementing solutions.

Additional Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

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How many water districts across the state still have not contacted your office and/or even begun testing for PFAS yet? 

In Colorado, around 900 public water systems will be required to test for PFAS to comply with the new PFAS rule. To date, we have assisted over 600 public water systems with PFAS testing and will continue these proactive efforts in advance of the new rule’s implementation.

Is your department concerned about the districts who still have not gotten on the ball with this?

The fact that so many have tested is great. Most systems do not have PFAS values that exceed EPA’s new standards. Now that we have a final rule, we will be doing extensive outreach and training to help our water providers understand rule compliance and the benefits of testing early to access available state and federal funding sooner and have more time to implement solutions if needed. We can support water systems that haven’t been tested yet through our PFAS grant program. Our goal is to provide technical and financial assistance to as many public water systems as possible to help them comply with the rule before EPA’s deadline.  

I know for some smaller districts it’s going to be really tough to afford the mitigation measures necessary to filter out the PFAS. What supports are available for those districts?

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  • Most water systems that have tested for PFAS do not have levels above the new standards set by EPA.
  • For those with issues, CDPHE developed the PFAS grant program and has assisted almost 30 impacted water systems with pilot testing or installing water treatment, providing emergency assistance for affected communities, and paying for water systems to test for PFAS. 
  • In 2022 and 2023, we awarded $7.6 million in grant funding to help our communities proactively identify and reduce public exposure to PFAS chemicals. 
  • In 2024, the department will award another $5-6 million in grant funding. The federal funding sources will provide additional resources to conduct pilot testing or treatment technologies, planning and design grants for treatment, and treatment infrastructure.
  • In addition, EPA awarded CDPHE $85 million dollars over two years in the Emerging Contaminants for Small and Disadvantaged Communities Grant program.
  • In addition to the Emerging Contaminants grant program mentioned above, federal funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has awarded Colorado $106 million in drinking water revolving and water pollution control funds for 2024. These BIL funds support a range of activities that includes addressing emerging contaminant issues and PFAS-related projects through supplemental funding and State Revolving Fund direct project awards.  You can find more information on our website. 

Some water districts are having to pass costs on to customers to pay for PFAS mitigation tools. What efforts is the state taking to help minimize that from happening?

As mentioned above, different groups of funds are available to help water systems with PFAS treatment costs. 

How long do districts have until enforcement actions can be taken against them for not complying with the new regulations? What will happen to the districts who are not in compliance?

The new rule requires public water systems to test for PFAS beginning in 2026. Water systems must also provide the public with information on the levels of these PFAS in their drinking water. Public water systems have until 2029 to implement solutions (if necessary) to meet the new PFAS standards. After that, CDPHE will issue violations and take enforcement actions as needed to secure public health protection and compliance. CDPHE’s goal is to get ahead of this by utilizing the tools outlined above to help the water systems that need to take action now. 

What’s your message to residents who may be concerned about the safety of their water until their district tests and mitigates?

People concerned with possible PFAS levels in their communities can review our dashboard, which displays information about PFAS test results across Colorado. 

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We have also developed numerous educational materials to help people understand and act on potential PFAS exposure. 

If you are concerned about PFAS, you can reduce exposure by using at-home water filters or using an alternate source of water for drinking and cooking.

  • While many at-home water filters exist, they haven’t all been certified to remove PFAS. Look for manufacturers that have demonstrated the water filter can remove PFAS to non-detectable levels. Examples to consider include: 
  • Look for bottled water that has been treated with reverse osmosis. CDPHE cannot verify that all bottled water is below PFAS health advisories. Reverse osmosis is a treatment that removes PFAS, so we suggest choosing a brand that includes this information on the label. 
    • Treating water with reverse osmosis removes fluoride, and bottled water usually does not contain it. If you choose bottled or treated water, talk to your dentist about other ways to get fluoride to protect oral health.
    • Bottled water negatively impacts the environment. 

At the end of the day, these districts are having to pay a lot of money to clean up someone else’s mess. Any comment or plans you can provide about future enforcement or regulation changes on facilities, industries, or businesses discharging waste containing PFAS?

We completed our stakeholder engagement effort and are now finalizing our 2024 PFAS Action Plan , which outlines how we will holistically address PFAS contamination moving forward. So far, we have taken many steps towards addressing PFAS contamination. 

  • The Water Quality Control Commission’s Policy 20-1 adds PFAS testing requirements and discharge limits to permits for facilities that discharge PFAS to lakes and streams.
  • We require that any releases of PFOA or PFOS at a facility under a hazardous waste permit or corrective action order be investigated, cleaned up, or otherwise remediated.
  • We developed regulations with stakeholders for anyone using firefighting foam containing PFAS to prevent new releases of PFAS in accordance with House Bill 22-1345.
  • Our PFAS Takeback Program has taken almost 18 thousand gallons of firefighting foam containing PFAS out of service from our fire departments so we can safely dispose of it and expanded the program to include our commercial service airports. 
  • We coordinate with the Department of Defense to determine the extent of PFAS contamination and ensure adequate protection of Colorado’s resources and impacted communities. We also support facilities doing voluntary testing and cleanup through our PFAS Grant Program and Voluntary Cleanup and Redevelopment Program.
  • The sales and distribution ban on certain products that contain PFAS from House Bill 22-1345 will decrease the public’s exposure to PFAS and lessen the amount of PFAS entering our state’s ecosystem. 



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MATCH PREVIEW: Houston Dynamo FC host Colorado Rapids to wrap up May  | Houston Dynamo

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MATCH PREVIEW: Houston Dynamo FC host Colorado Rapids to wrap up May  | Houston Dynamo


HOUSTON (May 28, 2024) – Houston Dynamo FC host the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, May 29, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT at Shell Energy Stadium. Houston defeated Colorado earlier this season with a late stoppage time goal from defender Brad Smith. Tickets for the match are available HERE.

Houston enters Wednesday’s match eighth in the Western Conference with a 5-6-3 (WLD) record and 18 points. The Dynamo will look to bounce back from a 2-1 road loss at the LA Galaxy on Saturday. The match saw midfielder Latif Blessing score his first league goal for Houston in the 18th minute in what was his 200th MLS appearance. However, goals from Los Angeles in the 44th and 59th minutes saw the home side take all three points.

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Midfielder Jefferson Valverde made his Dynamo debut in the 78th minute at the Galaxy. Houston signed the defensive midfielder on a full transfer from LDU Quito in Ecuador’s top division in late April. Last season, Valverde helped LDU Quito to its 12th league title and second CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana title.

Notably, captain Héctor Herrera played his first full 90-minute match of the season on Saturday. The Mexican international surpassed 350 minutes of play over seven matches this season as he returns from a knee injury that sidelined him for the start of the season.

Additionally, goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell made his first MLS start on Saturday since Houston’s last trip to the LA Galaxy in September 2023 when he helped the team earn a scoreless draw and Houston’s 12th clean sheet of the season. The veteran goalkeeper is currently playing in relief of Steve Clark, who picked up a face injury earlier this month versus FC Dallas.

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Houston continues to boast one of the best defensive records so far this season, despite a shuffling back line that has seen seven players start due to injuries. The team has allowed just 15 goals across 14 matches this season, which is the fewest in the Western Conference and tied for the third fewest across MLS. Additionally, Houston leads the Western Conference with 58.1 percent possession across the season, allowing the Dynamo to control matches and dictate pace of play.

Colorado enters Wednesday’s match sixth in the Western Conference with a 6-5-4 (WLD) record and 22 points. The Rapids are coming off a 3-3 home draw versus Minnesota United FC after facing a 3-1 deficit at halftime. A brace from Kévin Cabral and a Rafael Navarro goal were enough to see the home side split points.

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Houston and Colorado met at DICK’s Sporting Goods Park in late March when the Dynamo earned a 1-0 victory with a goal from defender Brad Smith in the final minute of stoppage time. Goalkeeper Steve Clark also made three saves to tally his second consecutive clean sheet at the time. 
 
The Dynamo hold a 7-6-6 (WLD) record over the Rapids at Shell Energy Stadium and will look to add a tally to the win column on Wednesday. In the most recent matchup in Houston in October last season, the Dynamo defeated the Rapids 5-1 with goals from Nelson Quiñónes (brace), Amine Bassi, Corey Baird and Artur.

Before the June international break, the Dynamo travel to face Portland Timbers FC on Saturday, June 1, with kickoff scheduled for 9:30 p.m. CT. Houston defeated Portland 1-0 at home earlier this season.





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Colorado Springs senior baseball all-star game | KRDO

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Colorado Springs senior baseball all-star game | KRDO


Colorado Springs senior baseball all-stars took the field for the final time in their high school careers.

The Pikes Peak All-Stars knocked off the Gold Camp All-Stars, 10-4.

Manitou Springs slugger Canon Feist had a 2-run triple, and a 2-run home run in the win.

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