The Equitas Project becomes a part of Mental Health Colorado

I hope you are staying well in these difficult times. 

I’m writing with the exciting news that The Equitas Project is now part of Mental Health Colorado 

Jails and prisons have become the largest mental health facilities in the U.S. It’s a painful intersection that The Equitas Project has worked to disentangle since its founding by the David and Laura Merage Foundation in 2013. 

We share the Merage’s understanding that behaviors associated with poor mental health and addiction are mistaken for and treated as willful criminality. Rather than supporting people’s health and providing access to quality care, education, and supportive housing, our communities too often default to law enforcement and incarceration, where health declines further and poor behavior is exacerbated. This transition will allow the work already done by Equitas to continue, now with Mental Health Colorado leading the nation in disentangling this intolerable pain point of mental health and criminal justice. 

The David and Laura Merage Foundation’s commitment to criminal justice and mental health, and the leadership of the Equitas partnerswill significantly advance Mental Health Colorado’s mission to create healthier minds across the lifespan, decriminalize mental health, reduce potential harm from drugs and alcohol, and end shame and discrimination. 

Many essential course corrections must be made to disentangle mental health and criminal justice in Colorado and across the nation. You can support this work today. 

Wishing you all health and wellness in these trying times.  

Vincent Atchity
President & CEO
Mental Health Colorado