New Survey Finds Massive Support for Mental Health Reform

Majority of candidates support red flag laws, mental health in schools

DENVER, Oct. 10—Ninety-four percent of the candidates for governor and the state legislature support increasing mental health services in schools, and 83 percent said they support a “red flag” law, or extreme risk protection order.

Candidates for governor Jared Polis (D) and Walker Stapleton (R) agreed on adding mental health services in schools. Stapleton said one of his priorities is to continue improving the integration of mental and physical health care. Polis said he is committed to working with the legislature to pass a red flag law, but it must include critical due process protections.

More than a million Coloradans face a mental health or substance use disorder each year, but only half get the care they need. The consequences are damaging: crowded emergency rooms and prison cells, increased unemployment and homelessness, and one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

“Mental health should be a top priority on every candidate’s agenda,” said Mental Health Colorado President & CEO Andrew Romanoff. “These issues touch the lives of all Coloradans.”

More than 100 out of 179 candidates responded to the survey. Most supported mental health policies, including adding funding for follow-up care after a suicide attempt or overdose (95 percent); strengthening requirements for mental health parity (86 percent); and expanding mental health and substance use treatment in underserved areas of the state (89 percent).

Individual candidate responses are listed by district at

Mental Health Colorado is the state’s leading advocate for the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and does not endorse any of the candidates.

For more information or to schedule an interview, call or email Aubree at 405-615-3845 or