April 5, 2022

BILLS TO ADDRESS COLORADO’S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CRISIS WIN COMMITTEE APPROVAL

Legislation includes more than $140 million to expand access to behavioral health care for Colorado youth and adults


DENVER, CO – The House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee today unanimously passed two bills to expand access to behavioral health services for adults and youth. These bills were developed based on recommendations from the state’s Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force and will invest $140 million to build a healthier Colorado.

“We’ve made it a top priority to expand access to behavioral health care, and that’s what this transformational bill will do,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales Gutierrez, D-Denver. “With these federal funds, we have a once-in a generation opportunity to significantly expand behavioral heath care and address the cries our state is facing. This legislation provides $90 million directly to local governments, nonprofits and community-based programs to expand access to behavioral health care and fill critical gaps across the state so that more Coloradans can seek the care they need to thrive.”


“This transformational $90 million investment will lay the foundation for a more accessible, affordable, and inclusive system of behavioral health care in our state,” said Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora. “Our behavioral health care crisis will not be solved overnight, but with these funds, we have a unique opportunity to address some of the most pressing concerns in our state. Every community is different and has different circumstances and different needs. This bill encourages collaboration, uplifts local solutions, and ensures that funding reaches every corner of Colorado and that no community is left behind.”


Community Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Gap Grants: HB22-1281 sponsored by Representatives Gonzales-Gutierrez and Naquetta Ricks, will ensure Coloradans across the state — including children, youth and families — have access to the behavioral health care they need. This bill will invest $90 million in grant funds for local governments and nonprofit organizations to implement innovative, community-based programs with the goal of filling regional gaps across the continuum of care and transforming behavioral health outcomes for families, children and youth living in Colorado. The bill passed unanimously.