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The age of consent: Students can now get mental health treatment without parental permission

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When Amy, a 16-year-old from Thornton, began to struggle with depression, she found herself alone with it.

“I missed a lot of school, like a few months of school, because of depression. I tried getting help, but my mom said, ‘You don’t have a reason to be depressed,’” Amy told lawmakers at a hearing last winter. “So I kind of stopped trusting her and wouldn’t tell her anything.”

She wasn’t 15 yet, old enough to access mental health care without parental permission, so she was stuck.

Many teenagers have found themselves in this situation, she said.

“There’s a lot of parents out there that don’t want their kids to get the help they need,” Amy said. 

Stories like hers drove lawmakers to pass a law last session that allows students as young as 12 years old to get mental health services without parental approval.

Find out why this is not yet offered in Denver…and the exceptions to the new law.




-Jenny Brundin, CPR

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