Mental Health

Sole Lowe is the Buddy Program's Community Program Director and is based out of the Third Street Center offices in Carbondale. She joined the Buddy Program team in 2002 and shares the history and evolution of the mentoring non-profit over the years. 

More information about the Buddy Program and how you can get involved at

The situation is dismal in Colorado for mentally ill people who need to be hospitalized. As reported this week, a new analysis from the Colorado Department of Human Services shows the state has a significant shortage of hospital beds for this group. In Aspen, some end up in the jail and are taken to the nearest hospital - in Grand Junction - when a bed opens. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Marci Krivonen

An effort to make Aspen a “City of Wellbeing” is underway. The initiative is in its beginning stages, but would connect community agencies, organizations and businesses to fill gaps in mental and physical health in the valley. Local resident Gina Murdock is spearheading the idea.

"We have a lot of healthy, fit people. But on the other side, we have one of the highest suicide rates in our county, per capita. So, for me, that’s a red flag. It’s one of the reasons I’m leading this."

Facebook/Aspen Hope Center

The Aspen Hope Center turns five on June 1st. The nonprofit serves those in emotional crisis with most clients either dealing with mental health problems or substance abuse. Last year, the organization made headlines as it worked to tackle the problem of suicide after a cluster of deaths happened in a matter of days. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The organization started in 2010 after a study showed the Roaring Fork Valley needed more mental health services. Aspen resident Joe Disalvo already knew that.

Last year the Aspen Police Department saw its highest number of calls for service in a decade. The department recently released its crime statistics for 2014. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Police Chief Richard Pryor.

To view the full list of crime statistics for 2014, click here.

Meghan Hurley is the Mental Health Therapist at River Bridge Regional Center. She discuses her work with survivors of child abuse and how talk therapy can be the best method for healing. And Kerry Ach, the Community Outreach Coordinator, give details about Imagine 3, the organization's annual fundraiser on April 4th. 

Learn more about River Bridge at, and Imagine 3 HERE

Elise Thatcher

A suicide prevention organization is unveiling a new campaign tonight. The Hope Center, now based in Basalt, is also hosting an expert on healing communities.  Michelle Muething is Executive Director of the small nonprofit, which offers a hotline and counseling for people with suicidal thoughts. Muething says the new effort is called the "Erase the Stigma" campaign, and it’s based on feedback gathered since last spring.

Logan Hood is the Executive Director of RESPONSE. She says sexual assault and domestic violence is far  too common - even in the Roaring Fork Valley. Hood discusses issues in the valley, challenges the organization faces, and how communities can rally together for no-tolerance. 

Learn more about RESPONSE at, or call the 24-hour support and crisis hotline at 925-SAFE. 

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners

Mental illness is a major issue in the Roaring Fork Valley, and around Colorado. As part of his administration’s plan to help more people get help for untreated illness, Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new statewide mental health hotline last month. Bev Marquez is the CEO of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, the organization running that new hotline. Marquez talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about the response so far—and whether residents in the Roaring Fork Valley should call the statewide hotline or a local hotline first.


Creating Community Solutions Colorado


 The Roaring Fork Valley is part of a national effort to tackle mental health problems. Locals met with state mental health leaders this weekend to talk about what the key issues are here. The goal is to help figure out the best way to solve them. 

Seek Help...Please

Feb 4, 2014
Aspen Times

The suicide Sunday of Aspen Times Arts Editor Stewart Oksenhorn has emotionally devastated the paper’s newsroom.  Yesterday, the Aspen Times staff closed the offices for a time to grieve and meet with a counselor as Oksenhorn’s colleagues processed the loss.  APR's Roger Adams reports.

Mountain Valley Developmental Services is a non-profit who provides services and support to over 450 individuals with developmental disabilities in Eagle, Lake, Garfield and Pitkin county. The most common issue Mountain Valley works with is children prone to developmental disabilities. Executive Director Bruce Christensen and Human Resources director Dana Peterson, discuss Mountain Valley's children and family programs.   

Media Must Watch its Step When Reporting on Suicide

Apr 9, 2013
Photo from NPR

This spring has been a tough one in Aspen due to a succession of suicides. News of the deaths was hard to miss. Reports were carried by media outlets, including Aspen Public Radio. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports:

Some mental health providers say there was too much coverage. 

"I gotta tell you, we had the busiest day yesterday in the entire three years almost that the Hope Center has been in business, says Michelle Meuthing.