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CDHS Adds More Tools to Create Trauma-Informed Model of Care

The Colorado Department of Human Services is taking next steps in building a trauma-informed care model at its mental health institutes in Pueblo and Ft. Logan.

The Office of Behavioral Health will use peer support specialists to help patients manage their mental health problems during treatment. Peer support specialists can connect to patients using their personal experiences as part of the therapeutic process.

The department has contracted with Englewood-based Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. to invest $1.7 million over two years in this new model.

In addition to the peer support specialists, CDHS will oversee brick and mortar changes at Pueblo and Ft. Logan to repurpose treatment areas into de-escalation rooms for patients. The funding will also provide for additional staff training for trauma and substance abuse assessments.

These next steps align with Governor John Hickenlooper’s Mental Health Plan for Colorado, announced in 2012. Building a trauma-informed culture of care and expanding service capacity are among the key components of the state plan.