Colorado is experiencing a mental and behavioral health care crisis.
We lag behind many other states in the nation when it comes to key mental and behavioral health care indicators. We consistently rank in the top ten states for suicide, opioid addiction, and alcoholism. This crisis is further exacerbated by the fact that many of our our rural communities do not have adequate access to mental and behavioral health treatment. 82% of Colorado’s psychologists are located in the Denver metro and Colorado Springs and 12 counties don’t have a single licensed psychologist.
SB17-207: Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Health Crisis System
Governor Hickenlooper has signed SB17-207: Strengthen Colorado Behavioral Crisis System into law!
Healthier Colorado was able to mobilize individuals across the state to send over 5000 emails in support of legislation that banned the practice of putting individuals who committed no crime and are experiencing a mental health crisis, in jail while expanding the crisis response system in the state. Now, rural communities will be able to receive better support for mental and behavioral health services.
In August, Healthier Colorado walked 156 miles from three rural communities to the nearest available mental health treatment center to raise awareness about how far residents in rural areas must travel in order to access treatment. Healthier Colorado staff and our volunteers walked from Cañon City to Pueblo, Parachute to Grand Junction, and Cortez to Durango over the course of two days. This aerial footage covers of one of our walks from Cañon City to Pueblo.