Report: Colorado suicide, mental health crisis lifeline system needs more work

July 1, 2024

By: Eric Galatas

Two years after the National 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was introduced, a new report by the group Inseparable says Colorado and other states have work to do in order to fully staff call centers and connect people with the care they need when they need it most. Colorado is answering just 75 percent of 988 calls, and lacks critical resources including care providers, beds and other facilities.

Vincent Atchity – CEO of Mental Health Colorado – said like many other states, Colorado is experiencing a workforce shortage. “Those people don’t grow on trees,” said Atchity. “So it is difficult to create a system that has got a really high response rate, and a really high connectivity rate.”

Colorado got props in the report for its 988 wireless phone surcharge and other funding streams. To ensure people in crisis get the help they need, Inseparable’s report offers policy templates already at work in other states – that add mobile response units, crisis stabilization centers, and expanded call center capacity

Read the full article in Kiowa County Press