DENVER — Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha today introduced a plan to redesign and strengthen Colorado’s mental health services and support system. The plan is called “Strengthening Colorado’s Mental Health System: A Plan to Safeguard All Coloradans.”
“For the past five months, in response to the Aurora shooting, we have been working to expand mental health care and services across Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “No single plan can guarantee to stop dangerous people from doing harm to themselves or others. But we can help people from falling through the cracks. We believe these policies will reduce the probability of bad things happening to good people.”
Five key strategies form the plan:
Provide the right services to the right people at the right time.
Enhance Colorado’s crisis response system ($10,272,874 budget request).
Expand hospital capacity ($2,063,438 budget request).
Enhance community care ($4,793,824 budget request).
Build a trauma-informed culture of care ($1,391,865 budget request).
To fund this plan, the governor is asking the General Assembly to approve $18.5 million in the FY 2013-14 budget.
The plan would be implemented through the Office of Behavioral Health at the Colorado Department of Human Services. It would be coordinated and in partnership with the state’s Behavioral Health Organizations, Community Behavioral Health Centers, state and local law enforcement, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the Department of Public Health and Environment, the numerous highly-skilled providers and advocates across the state, and many hospitals and psychiatric emergency medical partners.
“Our goal is to help ensure we have the capacity and quality of mental health supports, services and resources to meet the needs of Coloradans, thereby keeping communities safer for everyone,” Bicha said.
Facts sheets related to each part of the plan can be found at www.colorado.gov/cdhs.