1960s: A Decade of Growth

The 1960s brought advancements in advocacy – with the formation of community mental health services in local areas, improvements to mental health hospitals, and greater outreach to youth. Today, we are still committed to these efforts.

In 1960, the Colorado Association for Mental Health (CAMH) hosted the 10th Annual Meeting & Mental Health Assembly of the National Association for Mental Health.  For the admission of $2, attendees could participate in sessions, luncheons, and banquets. Program topics included: Psychiatric Services in General Hospitals, Research, Information and Referral Services, and Mental Health Careers.

In 1961, CAMH partnered with the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) to create a Summer Work and Study Program, in an effort to attract interns to serve in the mental health field.  Additionally, to address the shortage of trained mental health professionals, CAMH hosted Careers Day, inviting high school students from the various regions in Colorado to tour the wards at Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo.  In a few short years, this program grew from 40 students to 425. Mental Health Colorado continues to be a voice on committees that address behavioral health workforce shortages, and in 2011, we hosted a summit based on a 2010 WICHE publication.

In 1963, Colorado became one of the first five states in the country to receive a federal planning grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to establish long-range planning for mental health services. In 1966, CAMH was involved in formulating Colorado’s Plan for Comprehensive Mental Health Services. This plan emphasized comprehensive services, community action, and coordination of efforts. Members of CAMH assumed leadership positions to implement this plan. Today, Mental Health Colorado continues to be the recognized leader that collaborates to promote mental health, expand access to services, and transform systems of healthcare.

Continuing its educational efforts, CAMH collaborated to provide 12 training workshops for teacher coordinators in Denver Public Schools. This pilot program taught teachers to deal with the psycho-educational aspects of classroom management. Mental Health Colorado is still committed to educating our community and promoting mental health awareness.