Conversation with Colorado kickoff

What stops Coloradans from getting the mental health care they need? We’ve embarked on a statewide listening tour to find out.

We held our first “Conversation with Colorado” in Pueblo on March 30. The event drew a standing-room-only crowd of 70 providers, family members, and people who had experienced mental health or substance use disorders.

Among our findings:
1)Most participants said they were either not satisfied (59%) or only somewhat satisfied (34%) with the mental health services in their community.
2)The cost of treatment ranked (at 21%) as the single biggest barrier to mental health care, followed closely by “concern about what would happen if someone found out” (18%).
3)The top reasons participants said children in their community did not get the mental health care they needed: parents didn’t know where to go (25%), and the symptoms were not identified (23%).

We heard a number of positive stories as well. Participants offered praise for school-based programs, telehealth services, and efforts to integrate mental health and primary care.

We’ll share more findings from our statewide tour — including suggestions for reform — in the months ahead. Our next stop is the Farr Library in Greeley on Tuesday, May 24 (check-in, 5:15 pm; program, 5:30 pm – 7 pm).