Continuing Behavioral Health Services During Stay-at-Home Orders

Governor Jared Polis has issued a statewide stay-at-home order through April 11. Under this order, behavioral health care providers are considered essential and should continue to provide services during this time with appropriate modifications, such as telehealth or screening protocols for services that must continue in-person. 

We have the following expectations for providers: 

  • Continue emergency behavioral health services. OBH considers the following services to be critical: 

  • Provide proper documentation and/or identification for employees. Under the Governor’s order, law enforcement may stop drivers to ensure they are performing essential duties only. Advise your employees to carry identification or credentials, such as a badge or a letter from your agency, to justify work-related travel or commuting.

  • Opt for telehealth when possible. OBH rule already allows for telemedicine and telehealth for most services. For those services where rule typically requires an in-person interaction, OBH now permits the use of telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak. Criminal justice and Children and Youth Mental Health Treatment Act programs can now deliver services via telehealth, and OBH issued a blanket waiver for the use of telehealth for DUI programs until July. Please notify OBH of any service modifications in this form. For best practices in telehealth and telemedicine, including HIPAA and Medicaid guidance, please see our OBH COVID-19 webpage

  • Notify OBH of service disruptions: If you are struggling with staffing due to illness or other COVID-19-related issues, please notify your OBH program staff or let us know via this form prior to closure. This way, we can identify solutions and find alternative resources for law enforcement and other community partners. 

  • Follow CDC guidelines when delivering face-to-face services: All providers working with clients face-to-face should implement a screening protocol like this to ensure that providers are safe. If cleared, providers should follow CDC guidelines for appropriate distance.

  • Develop safety plans for individuals: OBH encourages providers to identify clients who may need additional support. Proactively work with them to develop safety and risk plans and ensure that they know the crisis number, 1-844-493-TALK, and the locations of crisis walk-in centers, available on coloradocrisisservices.org