Behavioral health community forums identify successes, areas to improve

The Office of Behavioral Health hosted six community forums across the state in September 2017 to discuss behavioral health successes, needs and opportunities with individuals with lived experience, families, service providers, behavioral health workers, local human services, community partners and more. The forums facilitated an open dialogue about available services, ideas for next steps, and stigma reduction.

Below are common themes from attendees about what is going well and areas to improve, as well as answers to attendees’ frequently asked questions. Each of the forums, held in Pueblo, Durango, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Frisco, and Northglenn, drew crowds of around 50 people or more.

What’s Going Well

Across all six communities, OBH heard about programs and strategies that had improved regional behavioral health. Comprehensive wraparound services, engaging peers in treatment and recovery, collaboration and cross-sector partnerships, integrated and co-located care, and employment services in almost every community were identified as areas that are going so well that communities would like to have more. 

Areas to Improve 

Each community identified some region-specific challenges and talked through potential solutions. Most communities identified a need for more access to specific services like substance use and prevention or population-specific services for pregnant women, adolescents, high-acuity individuals and individuals with criminal justice involvement. Some systemic problems, such as stigma, workforce and transportation, and reimbursement for integrated or complex programs were discussed on a local, state, and national level. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Community Forum Photos

The Office of Behavioral Health sincerely thanks everyone who participated in the forums and looks forward to continuing to work with our community partners to pursue a high-quality, comprehensive and accessible behavioral health system that includes prevention and treatment of substance use and mental health disorders and supports for ongoing wellness and quality of life for all Colorado residents and communities. To find mental health or substance use services in your community, visit

Please contact Stacy Anderson at if you are interested in hosting a forum in your community in 2018.