Elevating Mental Health

With 300 days of sunshine per year and one of the country’s most active populations, people are surprised to learn that Colorado also has one of the nation’s highest suicide rates. Over 12,000 people attempt suicide and more than 1,000 people take their own lives in Colorado every year. Most of these fatalities are the result of treatable mood disorders that go unrecognized. Due to the stigma and incomplete understanding of mental health, over 40,000 lives are lost in the U.S. each year to suicide.

The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center is committed to combating the stigma surrounding mental health to prevent the staggering losses associated with mental health. The center works to educate the public in order to develop a better understanding of mental health as a part of physical health and primary care. Center faculty and staff are working hard to improve access to quality mental care for millions of people in Colorado and beyond through excellence in clinical care, innovative research, community programs and education.

The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center is changing the conversation around mental health and treating mood disorders at CU Anschutz.

Clinical Care

The Johnson Depression Center provides state-of-the-art, evidence-based care to those struggling with a mood disorder and related conditions. Operating an outpatient practice, psychiatry faculty members and psychotherapists see patients daily.

The Johnson Center faculty also oversee a number of psychiatric services offered in clinics around Colorado including:

– the Perinatal Mood Disorder Clinic that offers mental health screening and treatment to women at regularly scheduled OB visits;

– the AF Williams Family practice where our faculty work alongside primary care doctors to diagnose and treat mental health disorders while transforming the way health care providers collaborate.

Community Programs

The Johnson Depression Center is expanding access to mental health and creates programs to educate the public, eliminate stigma, and change the conversation around mental health. To accomplish these goals, the Johnson Depression Center has become an integral part of Colorado communities by offering two main programs.

– Suicide prevention training – offers a short course to learn the signs of depression and suicide risks.

– Stigma reduction programs – our faculty work with schools, businesses and communities to better understand mental health and change the conversation.


The research conducted at the Johnson Depression Center continues to contribute to the body of knowledge to improve the way mental health is diagnosed and treated. Here, faculty are testing new drug therapies, new care approaches to mental health care, developing new ways to diagnose mood disorders and translating programs and services from research into clinical settings.

Private support has helped accelerate research into and implementation of integrated care. Our faculty are changing the way mental health is treated and reducing its stigma.