What We Do

Mental Health Colorado advocates for the more than one million Coloradans who experience a mental health or substance use disorder each year. We engage policymakers, providers, the public, and the press to promote mental wellness, ensure equitable access to mental health and substance use services, and end stigma and discrimination. Our efforts range from the Capitol to the classroom.

Our Legislative Agenda

  • Strong start for all children
    • Require culturally responsive, evidence-, and trauma-informed mental health and substance use training for every teacher prior to re-certification.
    • Ensure clinically appropriate responses for any youth with a mental health concern who reaches out to the Safe2Tell call or text line.

  • Access to housing, supports, and services
    • People living in recovery from mental health and substance use conditions have proven to be effective in supporting positive health outcomes for others. These peers should be widely available, reasonably compensated, and have pathways to professional growth.

  • Reduced potential harm of drugs and alcohol
    • When prescribing benzodiazepines, prescribers must check to see that other life-threatening interacting medicines have not already been prescribed.
    • All private carriers must use the same evidence-based and nationally recognized criteria in coverage determinations for the treatment of substance use disorders.

  • Decriminalize mental health conditions
    • Create a new transportation alternative for people in a mental health crisis so that people are not transported by law enforcement to a health care facility.

  • Support for families
    • Early childhood mental health consultants are known to be effective in improving children’s mental health. Early childhood consultants ought to be available in all childcare settings so every child can thrive in an environment that is supportive of wellbeing.


Our Initiatives


What you can do

  • Get screened

    Taking a screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to assess your own mental health. Take a confidential quiz to check in with yourself.

    Get Screened
  • Share your story

    Have you experienced a mental health or substance use disorder, or cared for someone who has? Help us demystify mental illness by sharing your story.

    Share Your Story
  • Join the Brain Wave

    At Mental Health Colorado, we’re building a statewide network of advocates; we call it the “Brain Wave.” We need volunteers to identify local barriers to mental health care – and drive solutions. Sign up and become a voice for mental health in your community.

    Join Us
Mental Health Colorado works with state lawmakers, state and local agencies, and mental health providers – among other stakeholders – to remove barriers to care. Our aim: to make Colorado a national leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. 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. Learn more about our public policy efforts:

2019 2018 2017 2016 Mental Health Colorado is a strong proponent of universal screening and early detection – “B4Stage4.” Among other priorities, we seek to ensure that schools have the training and resources they need to identify students at risk of mental health disorders and to refer such students to appropriate services. 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 steer our state’s criminal justice system toward rehabilitation, not simply incarceration.
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Partnerships
Mental Health Colorado plays a leading role in bringing together providers, consumers, advocates, and other groups to develop new solutions that advance mental health in our state. We sparked the creation of the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the Colorado Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, the Colorado Mental Wellness Network, and Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, among other entities. Our commitment to collaboration plays a key role in how we approach our work.
  • Mental Health America
    Mental Health Colorado is a proud affiliate of Mental Health America, the nation’s oldest and strongest voice for mental wellness. For decades, our organization has worked hand in hand with Mental Health America on a range of activities and public education initiatives, including May is Mental Health Month and the B4Stage4 campaign.
  • Behavioral Health Partnership
    In 2009, we spearheaded the Behavioral Health Partnership to unite Colorado’s mental health community. The Partnership includes the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, Advocates for Recovery, the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals, the Colorado Mental Wellness Network, the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, the Colorado Providers Association, the Colorado Psychiatric Society, the Colorado Psychological Association, Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, and the Colorado chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Association of Social Workers. Partnership members adopted a shared statement of principles on health care reform and the integration of physical and behavioral health. We continue to work closely with these groups.
  • NIMH Outreach
    The Outreach Partnership Program is a nationwide initiative of the National Institute of Mental Health Office of Constituency Relations and Public Liaison (OCRPL) and is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Program partners with national and state organizations to strengthen the public health impact of research by:
    • Disseminating the latest scientific findings
    • Informing the public about mental disorders and substance abuse
    • Reducing stigma and discrimination
    • Increasing public awareness about the important role of research in the treatment of mental illnesses and addiction disorders, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure
    NIMH website

    Publications for Download

    April 15, 2017 March 15, 2017 March 1, 2017  
  • Mental Health America of Pueblo
    Mental Health America of Pueblo provides education and awareness for understanding mental health issues in the Pueblo community. Individuals or organizations alike are welcome to join. Membership is diverse and includes bankers, attorneys, health professionals, representatives from social service agencies, government employees, and mental health consumers. Mental Health America of Pueblo strives to raise awareness through regularly scheduled educational programs and events. Monthly educational meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of the month, provide news and statistics that are up-to-date and valuable. For more information, call (719) 966-7642 or send an email to mhapueblo@gmail.com.
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