Mental Health Matters Wherever We Look

At the heart of our advocacy is our commitment to amplifying the voices of those with lived and living experiences. From addressing the shortcoming of current treatment modalities and medications, urging for sustained research and development, to confronting the inadequacies of involuntary treatment and civil commitment systems, our aim is clear: to establish an equitable, person-centered approach to supporting human health and well-being that is rooted in peer voices and first-hand encounters.  
We recognize as urgent and imperative the dismantling of barriers hindering individuals from receiving needed care and the development of systems that cooperate in prioritizing health over punitive measures. Join us in our pursuit of #CareNotCuffs as we champion legislative measures and changes in practice that support the health and well-being of Coloradans across the lifespan.  
Read on to explore the legislation we are championing, supporting, opposing, and amending this session. 

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* icons indicate primary Mental Health Colorado bills

  • Strong Start for all Children
  • Access to Housing, Supports, & Services
    • HB24-1002 Social Work Licensure Compact: enacts the "Social Work Licensure Compact," which is designed to (1) eliminate the necessity for social workers to obtain licenses from multiple states; (2) facilitate the exchange of licensure and disciplinary information among member states; (3) authorize member states to hold a regulated social worker accountable for abiding by a member state's laws, regulations, and applicable professional standards; and (4) allow for the use of telehealth to facilitate increased access to regulated social work services.
    • HB24-1010 Insurance Coverage for Provider-Administered Drugs: decreases limitations on drugs covered under an individual's health insurance policy that are administered by a provider in a setting other than a hospital.
    • HB24-1040 Gender Affirming Health-Care Provider Study: requires the department of public health and environment to conduct or cause to be conducted a gender-affirming health-care provider study.
    • HB24-1045 Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: prohibits a carrier that provides coverage under a health benefit plan for a drug used to treat a substance use disorder from requiring prior authorization for the drug based solely on the dosage amount.
    • HB24-1054 Jail Standards Commission Recommendations: extends the duties of the Legislative Oversight Committee for Colorado Jail Standards that address and improve the rights of people incarcerated in jails, including access to health care, visitation, housing and more.
    • HB24-1066 Prevent Workplace Violence in Health-Care Settings: enacts the "Violence Prevention in Health-care Settings Act", applicable to hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, nursing care facilities, assisted living residences, and federally qualified health centers, and the "Violence Prevention in Behavioral Health Settings Act", applicable to comprehensive community behavioral health providers.
    • HB24-1067 Ballot Access for Candidates with Disabilities: requires the general assembly, the secretary of state, and each political party to ensure that the caucus process or any future alternative process by which candidates may access the ballot that is accessible to persons with disabilities remains an option in the state.
    • HB24-1322 Medicaid Coverage Housing & Nutrition Services: directs the department of health care policy and financing to conduct a feasibility study to explore the feasibility of seeking federal authorization to provide nutrition and housing services that address medicaid members' health-related social needs (HRSN). The state department shall report the study's findings to the joint budget committee on or before November 10, 2024. The study and report must address integrating HRSN services with existing housing-related and nutrition-related services.
    • SB24-117 Eating Disorder Treatment & Recovery Programs: requires the behavioral health administration (BHA) to require all eating disorder treatment and recovery facilities to hold an appropriate designation based on the level of care the treatment facility provides. Licensed clinicians who are not facility-based and offer behavioral health therapy on an outpatient basis are not required to hold a designation. The bill directs the state board of human services to promulgate rules for treatment facilities. The bill requires the BHA to promulgate rules concerning involuntary feeding tubes for individuals with an eating disorder.
  • Support for Families
  • Well-Being in Aging
  • Reduced Potential Harm from Drugs & Alcohol
    • HB24-1003 Opiate Antagonists and Detection Products in Schools: allows the adoption of a policy for maintaining a supply of opiate antagonists on school buses and extends existing civil and criminal immunity to school bus operators and other employees present on buses if they furnish or administer an opiate antagonist in good faith, in addition to other requirements.
  • Decriminalize Mental Health Conditions
    • HB24-1028 Overdose Prevention Centers: specifies that the governing body of a municipality, which includes a city, town, and city and county, may authorize the operation of an overdose prevention center within the municipality's boundaries for the purpose of saving the lives of persons at risk of preventable overdoses.
    • HB24-1034 Adult Competency to Stand Trial: reforms and clarifies the criminal competency to proceed process: it provides necessary parties with access to information related to the defendant's claim of incompetency to proceed; requires the department of human services to search prior competency evaluations in its possession when the court orders a competency evaluation or the court finds the defendant incompetent to proceed and provide any evaluations to the court; adds to the information that is included in a competency report; delineates a court's options when it finds that a defendant is incompetent to proceed; directs when competency services may be provided on an outpatient basis; and sets forth the circumstances when a court has to dismiss the defendant's case based on the highest level of charge against the defendant and how long the defendant has been waiting for restoration services.
    • HB24-1037 Substance Use Disorders Harm Reduction: excludes injuries involving the possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia from a physician's mandatory reporting requirements; clarifies that the civil and criminal immunity that protects a person who acts in good faith to furnish or administer an opioid antagonist also protects a person who distributes the opioid antagonist; adds an exemption to the prohibition on possessing drug paraphernalia for possession of drug paraphernalia that a person received from an approved syringe exchange program or a program carried out by a harm reduction organization while the person was participating in the program; specifies that money appropriated to the department of public health and environment to purchase non-laboratory synthetic opiate detection tests may also be used to purchase other drug testing equipment; authorizes an organization operating a clean syringe exchange program to provide drug testing services through the program; and updates terminology.
    • HB24-1355 Measures to Reduce the Competency Wait List: creates the bridges wraparound care program in the office of bridges of Colorado to increase the success of eligible individuals referred from the criminal justice system by connecting the individuals to necessary wraparound care coordination services, resulting in case dismissal, continuity of care, and increased social stability.
  • End Discrimination
    • HB24-1079 Persons Detained in Jail on Emergency Commitment: prohibits a law enforcement officer or emergency service patrol officer who takes a person into protective custody from detaining the person in jail and requires involved entities and officers to provide reports to the behavioral health administration.

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