Mental Health Colorado is the state’s leading advocate in promoting mental wellness, ending shame and discrimination, and ensuring equitable access to mental health and substance use care.  

Donate Now  Our Supporters

Your support directly funds legislative action. We hope you will give what you can to support mental health for all Coloradans. With your help we will continue passing laws, building a movement, and changing practices.

Below are some of our focus areas that you can support.  

  • Strong start for all children

    Your support will help us with the following current initiatives: 

    • Help teachers and students adapt to mental health challenges as a result of the pandemic by facilitating a School Mental Health Community of Practicea monthly forum for school districts to share best practices around mental health strategies—specifically adapted to COVID-19 challenges. 
    • Provide technical assistance, consulting, resource coordination, and training to school districts and early childhood care providers.

    Your support has helped us: 

    • Ensure a strong start for all of Colorado’s children by promoting best practices for mental health and wellness programs in all 178 of the state’s school districts.  
    • Award grants to rural school districts to help them implement mental health best practices. Districts used the funds to purchase social-emotional health curricula, implement mental health screening programs, train faculty in Mental Health First Aid, and support teacher wellness programs.  
    • Champion legislation that will prepare teachers to support their students’ ongoing mental health needs.  
    • Release the Early Childhood Mental Health Toolkit, a guide for promoting community-based mental health support for young children and their families.
    • Provide training to 34 regional early childhood councils on best practices for early childhood mental health and wellness and award grants to early childhood councils to provide additional resources. 
    • Promote Mental Wellness

      Your support will help us with the following current initiatives: 

      • Provide free, anonymous mental health and substance use screenings through our website—in 2019 alone, we provided nearly 7,000 screenings.  
      • Provide tips, strategies, and resources to reduce stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic, as well as everyday wellness support. This information is distributed though social media and the news media. 
      • Educate all Colorado voters to choose leaders who will protect their rights and guide them in the right direction when it comes to mental health. We also consult with candidates running for office to make sure they are committed to supporting the mental health of the population they seek to represent. 
      • Ensure that state funding and resources for mental health remain a priority in the wake of the global pandemic. 
      • Maintain a Data Dashboard, which provides key mental health and substance use data for every county in Colorado. 
      • Ensure Equitable Access To Mental Health And Substance Use Care and Housing

        Your support will help us with the following current initiatives:  

        • Develop permanent supportive housing for veterans with mental health needs in El Paso County.  
        • Provide technical support for the Aurora Municipal Court effort to redirect people into health care and away from the criminal justice system. 
        • Strengthen the mental health workforce by ensuring that peer support professionals are widely available, reasonably compensated, and well trained. Peers are people living in recovery from mental health and substance use conditions and have proven to be effective in supporting positive health outcomes for others with similar health conditions.  

        Your support has helped us: 

        • Champion measures to integrate mental health care into the primary care system; address the shortage of mental health professionals, especially in rural Colorado; and disentangle mental health and criminal justice. 
        • Secure $10 million in 2018 and $20 million in 2019 to improve mental health and substance use care 
        • Develop a consumer wellness guide website in partnership with the Office of Behavioral Health to help Coloradans navigate treatment and coverage for mental health and substance use concerns. 
        • Develop a statewide crisis response system and the formation of a 24/7 counseling and support service.
        • Provide technical assistance on ballot initiatives in Denver, Larimer, San Miguel, and Summit Counties. Together with Eagle County, which passed a similar measure in 2017, these five communities will collect nearly $70 million a year to support the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. 
        • Evaluate and establish a roadmap to improve the current behavioral health system through service on the Governor’s Behavioral Health Task Force. 
        • Decriminalize Mental Health

          Your support will help us with the following current initiatives: 

          • Ensure health needs receive a health response. Jails and prisons have become the largest mental health facilities in the U.S. Through our Care Not Cuffs campaign, we are building a movement to shift our country away from mass incarceration toward health, prosperity, and justice for all.  
          • Create a new transportation alternative for Coloradans in a mental health crisis so that people aren’t transported by law enforcement to a health care facility. For somebody who’s in a mental health crisis, being transported in a law enforcement squad car often requires transport in handcuffs, and that is extremely shaming and stigmatizing.  
          • Ending the use of solitary confinement for people with health conditions such as mental health disorders and dementia. As with many other states in the nation, individuals with serious mental health conditions are entering the criminal justice system at alarming rates, often as a result of unmet health needs. Not only are individuals with mental health conditions more likely to be incarcerated longer, but they are also more likely to be placed in solitary confinement while in jail, which has detrimental effects on people with health conditions.  
          • Support the work of Mental Health Colorado’s Equitas Project, a national initiative to disentangle mental health and criminal justice. 
          • End Shame And Discrimination

            Your support will help us with the following current initiatives: 

            • Promote greater mental health across the lifespan for all Coloradans through grassroots advocacy. The Brain Wave is Mental Health Colorado’s statewide network of advocates. With over 1,000 members across the state, members help illustrate the barriers to care that Coloradans face by sharing stories and experiences with lawmakers, the media, and community partners. 
            • Maintain a story bank of mental health advocates who share their stories to bring greater awareness of the importance of mental health in all our lives and end shame and discrimination. 
            • Support Our Policy Work

              Your support will help us ensure that funding and resources for mental health and substance use remain a priority in the wake of the global pandemic. 

              Our policy leadership has won national recognition. We helped secure the passage of landmark legislation requiring mental health parity, the development of a statewide crisis response system, and the formation of a 24/7 counseling and support service. Mental Health Colorado presses insurers and regulators to comply with state and federal law – including the guarantee of mental health as an essential benefit, the adequacy of provider networks, and the enforcement of mental health parity. We also champion measures to integrate mental health care into the primary care system; to address the shortage of mental health professionals, especially in rural Colorado; and to disentangle mental health and criminal justice. 

              Examples of Legislation: 

              • We want to prepare teachers to support students’ mental health needswe helped pass legislation so that 10 of the 90 hours required for teacher re-certification include some form of behavioral health training. 
              • As a result of COVID-19, the state must be prepared to deal with the secondary pandemic of mental health and substance use concerns. The funding in House Bill 20-1411— totaling $15.2 million—will provide life-saving mental health services to Coloradans in need of care. 
              • We prioritized access to telehealth, which played an important role in keeping Coloradans safe during the pandemic, by supporting Senate Bill 20-212. 
              • The stress and isolation from the pandemic have left many Coloradans more vulnerable than ever to the potential harm of drugs and alcohol.  We championed legislation to increase access to life-saving substance use care. 
              • Each year, 35,000 Coloradans are placed on an emergency mental health hold. But when those 72 hours are up, many never get the care they need. We championed legislation to end the cycle of crisis and help Coloradans transition back into the community following a mental health or substance use crisis. People who have been placed on mental health or substance use emergency holds can now be referred to specialists for help accessing treatment, housing, and other necessary services. 
              • We led the fight for mental health parity—holding insurers accountable to the law that says they must pay for mental health care the same way that they pay for physical health care. We championed legislation that strengthens parity laws and shifts our system away from expensive, late-stage treatment toward early intervention. The Colorado law is considered a model parity law for other states. 

            ADDITIONAL INFORMATION  

            Below are several other resources that will provide additional information about the work we’re doing: 

            Thank you again for your interest in Mental Health Colorado. For additional information, please contact our Director of Communications, Aubree Hughes, at ahughes@mentalhealthcolorado.org