Colorado’s first lady, Jeannie Ritter, will be in the Lory Student Center Theater today at 10:30 a.m. to talk about mental health, the impact of mental illness on college students, and legislation impacting mental health issues.
She became passionate about mental health after her sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, said Lannea Russell, a senior animal science major and publicity chair for the Active Minds club at CSU.
Ritter was invited to speak by CSU’s Active Minds club after the club’s faculty adviser, Kathleen McKinney, read an article about Ritter’s concern for mental health issues.
Active Minds is a peer-to-peer organization for college students dedicated to mental health and works on campus with the counseling center.
According to the Active Minds Web site, the club’s goals are to “increase students’ awareness of mental health issues, provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness, encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed, and serve as liaison between students and the mental health community.”
“I am absolutely excited,” Russell said. “It’s a topic I am passionate about because I know so many people affected by it. It’s often marginalized on campus.”
In the early 1980s Ritter was a volunteer in Tunisia with the Peace Corps and helped open vocational and educational centers for people with disabilities.
Ritter and the governor have four children. Their oldest, August, is a junior natural resources major at CSU.
Free tickets for the event are available at the campus box office. The College of Applied Human Sciences, the School of Social Work, and the Active Minds club are sponsoring the event.
Staff writer James Holt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.