10 results for tag: #care


Colorado mandates new rules for eating disorder clinics in response to patient complaints

June 10, 2024 By: Seth Klamann Colorado’s eating disorder treatment industry will soon face tighter regulations of providers’ practices under a new state law spurred in part by former patients and providers’ accounts of punitive environments and treatment practices. The law, passed by lawmakers this spring as Senate Bill 117, charges the state Behavioral Health Administration with issuing new rules for eating disorder treatment clinics. Those must include requirements for private and clothed medical exams, outside the view of other patients; specific accommodations for transgender and nonbinary patients; guidance for the use of ...

Legislation aims to enhance eating disorder treatment standards statewide

May 29, 2024 By: The Sopris Sun Over the last two years, EDF and Mental Health Colorado (MHC), a Denver-based mental health advocacy nonprofit organization, have worked together to advocate for more comprehensive and humane legislation for those affected by eating disorders. Vincent Atchity, MHC president and CEO, said a stripped-down version of a similar bill (SB 23-176) passed in 2023. It prohibits insurance companies and treatment facilities from using a person’s BMI, or body mass index, to determine whether to cover eating disorder treatment and prohibits the sale of some diet pills to minors. However, treatment plan regulation ...

Reform of Colorado courts’ competency system on chopping block at statehouse, supporters say

April 19, 2024 By: Shelly Bradbury Criminal prosecutions are paused while defendants go through treatment designed to restore them to competency. If a person is restored, the prosecution can proceed; if a person can’t recover, the criminal charges must be dismissed. “Right now the highest cost of what is happening around competency is paid in human suffering,” said Lauren Snyder, vice president of government affairs at Mental Health Colorado. “That to me should be a priority for our state in making sure we are not letting people languish in jail who are there just because they have a mental health condition.” The state has poured ...

Tennessee should not fall for tough-on-crime rhetoric, but rather embrace bail reform

April 18, 2024 By: Vincent Atchity Welcome back to bail reform, Tennessee – sort of. Let’s hope your experiences are less fraught than those of some other states, although your initial return to the topic raises some concerns about the eagerness some have to put people who are innocent until proven guilty behind bars. It is still desirable to minimize the use of bail, because bail is a relic of colonial times that has no place in a society that seeks justice for all. Bail, for those unclear on what it is, is a deposit that someone who’s been arrested can pay to avoid waiting in jail for their charges to be resolved. People who can afford ...

“I don’t think she was a lost cause”: How one Colorado overdose victim fell through the cracks

April 14, 2024 By: Meg Wingerter People who have both a mental illness and a substance-use disorder often struggle to get treatment that addresses all their needs, because most providers still primarily focus on one or the other, said Vincent Atchity, president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. Mental health facilities often won’t admit people in active addiction, he said. The Denver area needs more “housing first” options, which get people off the street even if they aren’t ready to stop using drugs immediately, said Atchity, of Mental Health Colorado. Offering wraparound services where people live increases the odds they’ll agree ...

Colorado legislators push obesity prevention bill, governor’s approval is uncertain

April 12, 2024 By: Marissa Ventrelli Erin Harrop of Mental Health Colorado echoed Chastain's concerns with the pharmaceutical industry profiting from weight loss medications whose long-term effects have not yet been fully studied. She said the longest trial of GLP-1 medications on obese individuals lasted only two years. "Like the opioid epidemic, the pharmaceutical industry stands to make huge profits before the long-term studies are even completed as desperate patients and well-meaning providers seek solutions," she said. Read the full article in Colorado Politics

Colorado legislators set aside $7.2 million to fund longer psychiatric hospital stays

March 29, 2024 By: Seth Klamman Once the money’s appropriated, a waiver expanding hospital stays would need to be approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But other states have already taken similar steps, meaning approval is likely. Much of the money set aside in the state’s budget — $5 million — is federal. “By prioritizing funding for these Coloradans to be able to get the care they need rather than be prematurely discharged, we are saving state resources in the long run and creating healthier communities,” Vincent Atchity, the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, said in a statement. “Pol...

Colorado has the nation’s third-longest waitlist for people charged with crimes and ordered into psychiatric treatment

January 24, 2024 By: Jennifer Brown But private hospitals typically do not take patients who have been ordered into treatment through the criminal justice system. And private hospitals often do not take people with the most severe behavioral problems or those who cannot pay, which means state hospitals are sometimes the only option. Mental Health Colorado president Vincent Atchity called on Colorado to “disentangle” mental health care from the criminal justice system. “The number of people being held in Colorado jails when they should be getting health care is an unacceptable tragedy,” he said. “Not only are their rights being ...

Solitary Confinement Reform Challenges Spotlight Mental Health Care Need

October 18, 2023 By: Vincent Atchity A new law went into effect in July 2022 that limits how Colorado jails and prisons can use solitary confinement for people with certain mental and physical health needs. Some advocates saw the law as a small step forward toward the elimination of solitary confinement, which is associated with numerous health risks including increased suicide risk. Those advocates are right. It would be a small step forward, but only if it were fully implemented. Full implementation, however, is difficult to accomplish in many, perhaps most, counties. For example, Boulder County Jail, where more than half of the individuals ...

Colorado addiction experts prioritize care for individuals leaving carceral settings

November 7, 2023 By: Shane Ersland Helping Coloradans who struggle with addiction, particularly for individuals transitioning out of a carceral setting, will require greater availability of adequate treatment services in the state, according to health leaders. Harm Reduction Action Center Executive Director Lisa Raville and Mental Health Colorado President and CEO Vincent Atchity discussed the state’s addiction-related challenges at the 2023 Colorado State of Reform Health Policy Conference last month. “At Mental Health Colorado, we acknowledge that humans have used a wide variety of substances, ranging from caffeine and tea to things ...