Advocates unveil resource helping Coloradans achieve mental wellness and addiction recovery

CO Wellness RecoveryRepresentatives from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health Colorado announced today the launch of the Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery Guide.

The website — cowellnessrecovery.org — is a practical, one-stop guide that helps users understand if they or a loved one has a mental health or substance use disorder, as well as where to get treatment and what to expect from various treatment levels. It also offers a comprehensive set of resources explaining the ins and outs of insurance coverage, patient rights, support options for caregivers, and more. The joint announcement was made at the Capitol moments after Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera issued an official state proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Month in Colorado.

The website is the result of a collaborative, yearlong effort on the part of the CDHS Office of Behavioral Health, Mental Health Colorado and a network of behavioral health advocates with lived experience.“Too often people with mental health and substance use disorders and their families don’t know where to begin to find help,” said Mental Health Colorado interim President & CEO Nancy VanDeMark. “This guide will help them to be better informed advocates for their care.”
 
The introduction of the Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery Guide comes just a few weeks after Governor Jared Polis directed CDHS to create a behavioral health task force to evaluate and develop a roadmap by June 2020 and transform Colorado’s behavioral health system. An important focus of that work will be identifying ways to increase Coloradans’ access to high-quality, affordable treatment.
 
“The Department is committed to improving how we serve Coloradans struggling with behavioral health needs,” said CDHS Executive Director Michelle Barnes. “As we come together to celebrate Mental Health Month, this guide is a step toward putting patients first and partnering with advocates to make the system more accessible to the people who use it.”

The Mental Wellness and Addiction Recovery Guide is a public resource that was created by advocates for anyone looking for information on how to get treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help dealing with one, call the Colorado Crisis Services helpline (1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255) for free, confidential and immediate support. Or visit coloradocrisisservices.org to learn more.

May 1, 2019