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February 16, 2021
Conversation Corner

I would not make a good “Change Champion.” It’s not because change makes me anxious. It’s actually quite the opposite: I’m comfortable with it. I can embrace ambiguity and believe that everything will work out the way it should. For as far back as I can remember, my mantra has been, “Leap, and the net will appear.” 

We’ve now had a few stakeholder sessions specific to the Behavioral Health Administration legislation

Not surprisingly, there have been a lot of questions. A lot of very detailed questions. A lot of questions that we don’t have the answers to yet. By this time next year, we will have submitted a proposal that provides a lot of those answers. But we’re not there now. We’re not there yet. But we will be eventually. 

We know that the lack of answers right now makes some people uncomfortable. We are trying to address that in a number of ways – which is why we’ve been talking about “Change Champions.” These champions will help to distill rumors, let us know when we need to communicate more or better, and help address questions. I wouldn’t be a good one because I’m more likely to say, “Eh, don’t worry about it! It will all come together!”

But most people need more than that. Do you think you’d make a good change champion? Let us know here!  

Summer Gathercole
Senior Advisor for Behavioral Health Transformation

Weigh In
The Behavioral Health Task Force voted unanimously to create a Behavioral Health Administration (BHA). What are the challenges in the current system that the BHA will address?

The BHA will respond to the changing needs of communities across the State.
B. The BHA will improve access, quality and affordability of behavioral health care.
C. The BHA will eliminate the current fragmentation of services.
D. The BHA will promote transparency of consumer outcomes and the spending of tax dollars.
E.  All of the above.
Think you know the answer?
Take Our Pop Quiz!
Phase 1 Implementation Update
Behavioral Health Administration Bill Introduced

Today Colorado Representatives Mary Young (D-50) and Rod Pelton (R-65) introduced HB 21-1097 to create a new behavioral health administration (BHA), a single state agency that would lead, promote and administer the state's behavioral health priorities. Senators Rhonda Fields (D-29) and Bob Gardner (R-12) are also sponsoring the bill.

If passed, the bill would direct the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to create the BHA by July 2022. The BHA would receive, coordinate, and distribute funds for community behavioral health programs; oversee the quality of services and set standards of care; and monitor and evaluate behavioral health outcomes across the state.

Here's how to get involved! 
Seeking All Pilots 
Has anyone been flying lately?!! And by that, we mean: has anyone been managing or involved with behavioral health pilot projects? We are pulling together a summary of all behavioral health pilot projects that have been launched in the past few years. If you know of one, please get in touch with Summer Gathercole. Thank you!  
Behavioral Health In the News

Colorado Health Institute: Report: Suicide in Colorado

KUNC: Following Successes, Law Enforcement Say More Personnel Needed For 'Indispensable' Co-Responder Programs

Colorado Springs Gazette: GUEST COLUMN: Reforming Colorado’s mental health system

Sterling Journal Advocate: Proposed bill would create statewide Behavioral Health Administration

Events, Webinars and Opportunities

Behavioral Health Reform Discussed At Health Policy Summit 
Last month Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera and Office of Behavioral Health Director Robert Werthwein presented on Colorado’s behavioral health reform efforts during the Colorado Health Cabinet Health Policy Summit, hosted by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and State of Reform. Watch the recording.

AmeriCorps Grants Available for Behavioral Health Programs
AmeriCorps encourages non-profit and faith-based organizations; state, local and tribal governments; and institutions of higher education to apply for grants to implement a full AmeriCorps program as early as August 2021. This grant cycle welcomes proposals for programs that increase access to health care, including behavioral and mental health care, in underserved communities. Learn more

Social Spotlight

We need more passionate people like you to subscribe to our newsletter and keep up with behavioral health reform in Colorado. Please share this post on your Facebook account to help us spread the word!  

Get Involved! 

There are many ways to support this work:

Where We're Headed
Behavioral health reform is underway! Keep track with our project timeline: 
Stay in touch! Sign up for our email list and follow us on social media: 
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