DENVER, CO — The House today passed HB20-1113, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representatives Brianna Titone, D-Arvada, and Kevin Van Winkle, R-Highlands Ranch, which would make enhancements to the state’s Safe2Tell Program. The bill passed 55-8.
“Our students and teachers are under a lot of pressure right now, and that’s only going to continue when schools return to in-person learning,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “This bill improves critical resources that our students rely on and will better connect them with the help they need.”
“The Safe2Tell program is a national model for helping students, and it saves lives,” said School Safety Committee Chair Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “I’m proud of the bipartisan work of our School Safety Committee. This bill will ensure that when a student reaches out for help, that they are connected with the behavioral health resources they need.”
Safe2Tell, developed in Colorado after the Columbine tragedy, provides students a confidential way to report and talk with someone about behavioral health issues and has become a national model. Other states have taken Colorado’s lead, adapting the now 20-year-old program for new technologies and best practices developed in recent years.
The Safe2Tell enhancements would include aligning the Safe2Tell program and the crisis hotline more closely to ensure that individuals in crisis can rapidly access crisis counseling. It would also align the processes for all types of incoming tips and adjust the annual advertising campaign to most efficiently raise awareness about the program and reduce its misuse. Finally, it would enhance law enforcement’s ability to prevent imminent physical harm.