May 24, 2022

JOINT RELEASE: SIGNED! BIPARTISAN BILL TO IMPROVE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE FOR NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

SB22-148 will invest $5 million to build or renovate a behavioral health facility to provide behavioral health services


DURANGO, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed into law bipartisan legislation that will increase access to behavioral health care by investing $5 million to support the development of a behavioral health facility and better meet the behavioral health needs of Colorado’s land based Tribes.


SB22-148, sponsored by Senator Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, and Representative Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, is part of the legislature’s ongoing commitment to addressing Colorado’s behavioral health crisis using $450 million in federal pandemic relief funds secured in the American Rescue Plan Act.


“The Tribes are our partners and neighbors, and this is a long overdue investment in behavioral health,” Donovan said. “Everyone deserves mental health support in their communities, and this facility will support the Tribes’ efforts and help ensure that more Coloradans can access the critical care they need to thrive.”


“Using once-in-a-generation federal funding, we are prioritizing the behavioral health needs of Colorado’s land-based Tribes who often experience disproportionately higher rates of mental health distress without access to the proper resources,” said McLachlan. “This $5 million investment of federal funds will go directly toward the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe for the purpose of creating or revamping a behavioral health facility to improve mental health outcomes and save Coloradans money on behavioral health care.”


To further Colorado Tribes’ ability to provide culturally responsive behavioral health care in specialized facilities, this new law will provide a one-time $5 million grant to Colorado land-based Tribes to build or renovate a Tribal behavioral health facility for inpatient services and transitional housing.


SB22-148 was developed based on recommendations from the state’s Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force.