By: Sarah T. McCain
In the past several years there has been a renewed focus on mental health care and those going through divorces or custody cases are not immune to those issues. It is incredibly common for a parent to seek the assistance of a therapist to discuss these often complicated emotional issues. Children are not immune to emotional or mental health issues either, especially when their parents are in the midst of high conflict cases. If raised to a court that a child is struggling, it would not be unheard of for a professional involved with the case, such as a Child and Family Investigator, or the court itself, to suggest that a child be involved some sort of therapy to deal with the divorce related issues. Therapy is generally seen as beneficial for children going through a divorce so that they have a third person outlet to talk to. Until recently, parents were really in charge of the mental health process in terms of counseling, communication with counselors, access to information, etc. for children under the age of 16. Additionally, children over 16 had their own rights as related to therapy and confidentiality. This has now changed.
With the rise of mental health issues among children of younger and younger ages and the rise of suicide as the leading cause of death for Colorado youth ages ten through fourteen, Colorado has taken measures to ensure that children have every opportunity to access mental health assistance.