Got care?

You need mental health care. You can’t find a psychiatrist or a therapist who will provide it.

You’re not alone.

Each year, half a million Coloradans go without the mental health care they need. Most have insurance, but that doesn’t always mean their care gets covered.

A new proposal aims to change that. House Bill 18-1357, sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D-Commerce City) and Sens. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) and Angela Williams (D-Denver), would create a state ombuds office to help Coloradans navigate the mental health system.

Under the state’s current rules, you shouldn’t have to wait more than seven days to see a mental health professional (or 24 hours, in the case of an urgent condition). Yet many Coloradans report waiting for weeks or months on end. And a recent study shows that Coloradans are going out of network far more often for mental health or substance use services than for physical care.

All of us deserve high-quality mental health care. Please tell your state representative and senator to support HB 1357.

-Andrew Romanoff