Arvada father shares mental health struggle following son’s birth

ARVADA, Colo. -- Geoff Grandi says he’s struggled with depression for much of his life.

“I had just always been so angry,” he said.

But the Arvada man hit a crisis point right after his son, Woods, was born last year. It was a difficult time for he and his wife, Whitney, and it came to a head.

“That day was just one of those, 'I'm tired of being angry all the time.' I mean, I'm 35 now, and if I'm not going to get rid of it, I'm not going to get rid of it. And I'm not going to put her or my new kid through this for the rest of their lives,” Geoff said.

He packed a gun and headed to the mountains.

“Put it in my bag and drove off to Breckenridge for the weekend, and didn't intend to come home,” he said.

Luckily, he had second thoughts. He came home, met with his therapist and his wife, went to the ER and was placed in a three-day in-patient program at West Pines Behavioral Health, SCL Health.

“He was so close, so close to ending his life,” said Dr. Glenn Most, the executive director of the facility. Most is also a supporter of the “Let’s Talk Colorado" campaign, which works to reduce the mental health stigma by encouraging Coloradans to talk openly about their mental health. This year, the campaign is focused on men.

Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, yet less likely to ever seek care. Of the 1,175 Coloradans who died by suicide in 2017, almost 900 were men, according to the Colorado Health Institute.

“Being strong doesn't mean keeping things inside,” said Most. He wants men to know things can get better.

“Things get better with talking. Things get better when you do seek help, when you do open up to your friends and your family. You can get over this,” Most said.

That’s Geoff’s message as well. He’s now enjoying fatherhood and his marriage. He still meets his therapist and takes medication.

He wants other men to seek help if they need it.

“It doesn't mean you are nuts. Everything needs a check-up, and your brain needs a check-up every once in a while,” he said.

If you need tips on how to start a conversation about mental health with someone you care about, go to www.letstalkco.org.

If you are concerned about a man in your life, you can call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 844-493-8255.

Other Suicide Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255): Speak with someone who will provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn how to help someone in crisis, call the same number.

Colorado Crisis Services Hotline (1-844-493-8255): If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. When calling Colorado Crisis Services, you will be connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional with a master’s or doctoral degree.

The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386): A 24/7 resource for LGBT youth struggling with a crisis or suicidal thoughts. The line is staffed by trained counselors.

Colorado Crisis Services Walk-In Locations: Walk-in crisis service centers are open 24/7, and offer confidential, in-person crisis support, information and referrals to anyone in need.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: (1-844-264-5437): The best resource for readers to report suspected child abuse and neglect.

The number serves as a direct, immediate and efficient route to all of Colorado’s 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to child abuse and neglect concerns. All callers are able to speak with a call taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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