Aurora Works to Remove Mental Health Stigma


From the minute you shake his hand, 24-year-old University of Colorado Denver student Ibrahim Zien radiates warmth. He’s eager to learn, sweetly nervous and thoughtful in choosing his words.

The Aurora resident earned a degree in political science from CU Denver in spring and is studying accounting. He’s a self-proclaimed “huge politics addict” and says he has been since high school.

“The thing I love most about politics is that it’s involved in literally everything in your daily life,” Zien said. “Even though people don’t like to admit it.”

Zien appears to be a model student and friend — someone who is successfully juggling a lot of balls. You might never guess he deals with episodes of anxiety.

Zien initially didn’t know what to do when anxiety struck. He just knew that he desperately needed to put an end to the daily panic attacks and fainting spells that were “the worst feeling ever.” He stopped driving for fear he’d faint and crash. He felt restricted in everything he did.

When Zien decided to seek help, resources rose to meet him. Health care agencies across Aurora are implementing new techniques to better reach residents seeking mental health care...

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