Colorado Edition: The Strength Of The Human Spirit


A sign outside Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.


A sign outside Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.
STEPHANIE DANIEL / KUNC

Today on Colorado Edition: We explore the state's forecasted budget amid the coronavirus outbreak. We also round up this week's education news, learn more about the 2020 census now that it's officially begun, and get anxiety advice from a mental health expert.

LISTEN  HERE : The Strength Of The Human Spirit


Colorado's Forecasted Budget

Over the past week, we’ve been hearing a lot about the economic impacts that the coronavirus outbreak is having across the country. Today, we begin our show by digging into those impacts here in Colorado, beginning with our state’s budget.

On Monday, the state of Colorado held a budget forecast briefing for Colorado officials. KUNC’s Scott Franz was there, and he joined us to talk through what he learned. You can read Scott's reporting on the briefing here.

Economic Impacts Of The Coronavirus

To get a more full picture of how COVID-19 is affecting Colorado, we spoke with Dan Mika from BizWest, who has been following various industries key to our state’s economy.

The Week In Colorado Education News

As schools close around the state, the state of Colorado announced that it will cancel standardized testing for students for the year. This is just one effect that COVID-19 has on education in our state. To talk about the other impacts, we spoke with Erica Meltzer, bureau chief at Chalkbeat Colorado.

Advice For Coronavirus Anxiety

With all the news about the spread of the coronavirus in our state and across the world, it’s hard not to get anxious. So today, we talk to Vincent Atchity, CEO of Mental Health Colorado, to get some practical advice on how to maintain your mental health at this time.

What's At Stake With The 2020 Census

The 2020 census has officially begun! You may have already received an invitation in the mail from the census bureau. If not, you’ll likely get one any day now. To talk about what’s at stake in our communities, we spoke with Natriece Bryant, deputy executive director of Colorado's Department of Local Affairs.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

“Charcoal Lines” by Sketchbook
"The Consulate" by Holyoke
Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.



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Mental Health Colorado Names Vincent Atchity its President and CEO



Mental Health Colorado has a new leader, now that Andrew Romanoff is running for U.S. Senate.

The non-partisan advocacy nonprofit named Vincent Atchity its permanent president and CEO Thursday.

Nancy VanDeMark led the 65-year-old organization on an interim basis since Romanoff, the former speaker of the Colorado House, stepped down late last year after four years. VanDeMark is the former director of the Office of Behavioral Health at the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Atchity has been the executive director of The Equitas Project, which works on mental health issues and policies involving criminal justice.

In its announcement, Mental Health Colorado said Atchity would "leverage a statewide network of partners in advocacy, health care, government, education, public safety and the justice system to drive systemic transformation to Colorado’s mental health landscape."

“Every Coloradan has a role to play in supporting improved mental health,” Atchity said in a statement. “There can be no passive waiting for someone somewhere else to do something. I look forward to joining Mental Health Colorado in continuing to advance collaborative, cross-sector efforts to improve mental health and access to quality care.”

Moe Keller, a former state legislator who is Mental Health Colorado's director of advocacy, said the organization's leaders are excited to have Atchity onboard.

“Vincent brings so much knowledge and passion around mental health, and we are looking forward to his leadership," she stated. "From my previous years working with Vincent, I know his collaborative and inclusive style will serve us well.”