31 results for tag: #mentalhealth


Bill to improve eating disorder care passes Colorado House Committee

February 28, 2024 By: Alexander Brunet "We are grateful to Colorado legislators for prioritizing compassionate, culturally-competent and gender-affirming care for all patients seeking treatment for an eating disorder, one of the most prevalent and deadly mental health conditions. When the treatment is worse than the illness, we know we will not see the positive outcomes our communities and patients need. This legislation is an important step forward to put more Coloradans on the path to recovery." - Vincent Atchity Read the full article in KRDO

Housing measures, gender-identity names bills considered by legislature this week

February 26, 2024 By: Seth Klamman Elsewhere Monday, a group of legislators and advocates unveiled HB24-1072 at a press conference in the Capitol. The bill would expand the state’s rape shield law and tighten evidentiary limits on sexual assault cases, including barring the use of a victim’s manner of dress or hairstyle as evidence of their consent. The measure is bipartisan and is backed by a broad coalition of groups, including the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council and Mental Health Colorado. But it’s opposed by the Criminal Defense Bar, which worries the bill is unconstitutional. Read the full article in The Denver Post

Fix archaic medical policy failing Coloradans with mental health needs | OPINION

February 20, 2024 By: Vincent Atchity Many are aware Colorado is in a dire crisis of mental health, substance use and homelessness. We see every day too many of our friends, family members and neighbors are experiencing difficulties. We see we don’t have the proper supports and safeguards in place to stop people from experiencing preventable worst outcomes. What most are unaware of, however, is how outdated and seemingly benign policies perpetuate this vicious cycle in which so many Coloradans are trapped. We’re constantly seeing tragic stories play out in our communities. A person falls on hard times, experiences a mental health or substance ...

For Coloradans already struggling with their budgets, the cost of mental health care is increasingly out of reach

February 9, 2024 By: Tautiana Flowers The high cost of mental health care has long influenced who can get the care they need and who cannot, perhaps since its origin, said Vincent Atchity, president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. When it originated, for example, psychotherapy was mostly accessible to wealthy Americans who could afford to pay hundreds of dollars per hour to those professionals, who would spend hours examining their life experiences to identify root causes of distress and discomfort, he said. “It’s always been kind of a culture of the rich,” Atchity said, “and for folks who are not rich but also not poor, there ...

Denver Gymnastics to Host First ‘My Ribbon, My Reason’ Meet

February 7, 2024 By: The University of Denver The University of Denver gymnastics team will host its first "My Ribbon, My Reason" meet on Sunday, February 11, when DU competes against Iowa State and SE Missouri State in Magness Arena. During the competition, gymnasts from all three teams will wear colored hair ribbons that represent causes that each student-athlete has identified as important to them. DU has partnered with campus and local organizations to help raise awareness for the causes that the Denver gymnasts have selected. Some organizations will be in attendance on Sunday while others will supply materials for fans to learn more ...

Colorado doctors highlight patient safety and preparation as key priorities in state’s development of psilocybin therapy rules

January 29, 2024 By: Shane Ersland Colorado is in the process of developing rules for the rollout of its psilocybin therapy program, and mental health experts highlighted some components that will factor into those decisions last week. Mental Health Colorado and Healing Advocacy Fund will host a series of webinars about the rollout of psilocybin services in the state over the next couple months, and held the first session on Thursday. “We know that natural medicines have been used safely for millennia by cultures for healing, and Colorado can do better to promote health and healing by reducing its focus on criminal punishments for ...

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 ...

Decades-old rule pushes mentally ill Coloradans out of hospitals too soon. Legislators may finally change it.

December 11, 2023 By: Seth Klammann Barbara Vassis keeps a spreadsheet to track her daughter’s years-long journey through Colorado’s patchwork mental health system. The sheet goes back 11 years, a third of Erin’s life. There are holes in the narrative: Her daughter is schizophrenic bipolar, Vassis said, and she’s moved around different parts of the country. Still, even incomplete, Vassis’ growing tracker provides a glimpse at the revolving doors that Erin and hundreds of other Coloradans are stuck in every year. From April 2021 to April 2022, for instance, Erin spent 106 days bouncing between emergency rooms, detox facilities, ...

Two Colorado mental health centers merge, creating largest in the state

November 16, 2023 By: Jennifer Brown Two of Colorado’s community mental health centers will merge in July, creating the largest behavioral health center in the state. WellPower, which provides mental health services and homeless outreach in Denver, is combining with Jefferson Center, the safety-net mental health organization for Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties. Together, the two have almost 2,000 employees and serve about 48,000 people per year. The centers have mobile medication-assisted treatment for patients addicted to opioids, walk-in crisis centers and outreach programs that send mental health professionals out with RTD ...

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 ...