Where to start when seeking treatment for a mental health or substance use disorder
One million Coloradans face a mental health or substance use disorder each year, and only half get the treatment they need. For example, depression causes people to miss work more than any other chronic health condition, according to the World Health Organization. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Mental health and substance use disorders are treatable, and treatment is key to a full and meaningful life. Mental Health Colorado has partnered with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health to create the Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery Guide (www.cowellnessrecovery.org), a free resource for Coloradans considering recovery.
Mental Health Colorado advocate Evan Silverman is an example of someone who is thriving after finding the right treatment. Silverman was diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age and has experienced many types of mental health treatments over the years. One conclusion he has come to is that there is no blueprint for how to deal with mental illness.
The Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery Guide can help people navigate the system. Whether you’re advocating on behalf of yourself or a loved one, making the decision to seek treatment is an important step — but it’s only the beginning of the journey. The guide is a step-by-step, comprehensive resource to learn more about the treatment process, locate mental health and substance use providers, and access information about your rights.
If you’ve sought treatment for yourself or a loved one, you’ve likely run into these questions: How do I figure out what kind of treatment is best for me? What should I ask a prospective provider? How do I navigate insurance? What signs should I be looking for if I am concerned that a loved one has a substance use disorder? The guide addresses each of these questions and more.
For example, if you’re searching for a counselor, there are so many factors to consider — location, specialization, what insurance they accept, availability, or strategies for treatment. It can easily be overwhelming. The guide presents a list of suggested questions and background on common practices, such as an initial in-person or phone consultation, to help you narrow your search. By demystifying the process, the guide empowers you to be your own advocate.
Importantly, we also incorporate stories from real Coloradans like Silverman who share tips and other insights they gained during the treatment process. Silverman’s advice: Stay strong in the tough times, set manageable goals for yourself, and find someone you trust as a sponsor or mentor. Together, we can help those with mental health or substance use disorders and their families navigate the journey to recovery.
If you need immediate support or are having thoughts of suicide, call the Colorado Crisis Services helpline for safe and judgment-free support at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.
Our mission is to make to make it possible for every Coloradan to get access to high-quality, affordable mental health or substance use treatment so they can live full and meaningful lives.
If you are thinking about taking the first step to recovery, visit cowellnessrecovery.org today.
Mental Health Colorado advocates for the 1 million Coloradans who experience a mental health or substance use disorder each year. We engage policymakers, providers, the public, and the press to promote early intervention, expand access to affordable services, and eradicate stigma and discrimination. Our efforts range from the capitol to the classroom.