The Brass Bed will host its 4th Annual Defining Design event on May 9, from 5 – 8pm. Defining Design is a celebration of the designers whom we have the privilege of working with and offers an opportunity to showcase their vision of bedroom design for our customers to see. It is the ultimate “meet and greet,” bringing together designers, clients and customers, luxury textiles and our knowledgeable staff. During the event, customers are able to purchase anything we offer for a rare 20% discount. In turn, each year we partner with a local non-profit and donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds to that organization. This year, we are partnering with the University of Colorado Helen & Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center as the beneficiary of the event. The Johnson Depression Center board chair, Heather Mulvihill, will be on hand during the evening, and will speak about the Center’s mission and work in the community.
Founded 10 years ago by George Wiegers, The CU Johnson Depression Center, strives to improve the lives of individuals and families with depression and other mood disorders, such as bipolar and anxiety disorders, through excellent clinical care, research and community educational programs. The clinic is different because they use a highly personalized team-based approach that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and counselors who work together to provide excellent evidence-based care. The Center’s innovative team-based and integrated care model are revolutionizing the mental and behavioral health landscape. For example, there are providers on staff who work in other practices such as AF Williams family medicine and Children’s Hospital to provide coordinated care with the CU Johnson Depression Center. Additionally, the Johnson Depression Center serves posts-9/11 veterans and military families through a new, separate stand-alone clinic called the Steven A. Cohen Military Family clinic. Through team-based care and collaborative partnerships, the Johnson Depression Center has the opportunity to expand mental health care access for more people in our community.
Mental Health Care is in crisis right now; there is simply not enough care to meet demand. The public healthcare system is not great but if you are a typical working person with health insurance, it is very difficult to find quality mental health care. Many, if not most mental health care facilities do not take insurance because the reimbursements are so low. And, many patients do not qualify for subsidized care. Additionally, there is a serious shortage of mental healthcare providers so building capacity has to be addressed.
To that end, the Johnson Depression Center is also using a telehealth platform where providers are able to deliver care to patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region, in rural clinics and in their homes through a Skype-like technology. Providers are able to “meet with” patients in rural communities where there are no psychiatrists and consult with attending physicians about appropriate treatments.
The Johnson Depression Center also participates in important research into best practices for treating mood disorders. For example, the Center recently launched a Family-Focused Therapy for Bipolar Disorder, which is a new program that offers community providers free training and ongoing case consultation to treat children with bipolar disorder. We know that early intervention greatly improves outcomes. For example, by understanding the elements of Family-Focused Therapy, kids who have bipolar can avoid ever having a full-blown manic episode, which greatly changes the trajectory of their illness and their lives.
One of the most important things that the Center sponsors is their community programs. Expert providers offer free community trainings to schools, businesses, private events, etc. on topics such as Mental Health 101, Suicide Prevention, Managing Anxiety, Mindfulness and Stress Management. These educational programs are the closest thing we have to an immunization for mental illness. If people can be educated, the stigma around mental illness will be lessened, which ultimately leads people to get help when they need it, rather than waiting until they have a full-blown mental health crisis that results in hospitalization or a suicide attempt. Education teaches people how to recognize and intervene in a suicidal crisis. The bottom line is early intervention means improved outcomes (fewer hospitalization, less medication, quicker response to treatment and decreased recurrence). In many cases, participants report that they were able to help someone get help, teachers recognize kids who were struggling and interceded before anything serious happened, and school-aged kids are more accepting of and compassionate towards others who struggle with mental health issues. These programs are provided for free because the goal is to eliminate cost as a barrier to information. It is in this way that philanthropy can play a meaningful role.
The CU Johnson Depression Center is a member of the National Network of Depression Centers, a select group of the country’s leading depression and academic medical centers of mood disorders that includes Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.