Mental Health System Serving Record Numbers

Colorado’s community mental health system served a record 84,500 people across the state last year. During that same time, 15.1 percent of Colorado’s residents reported receiving some form of mental health treatment from public and private providers.

Mental health leaders from across the state honored leaders and programs that have shown great innovation to address some of the industry’s most pressing concerns. One of these innovative programs strives to keep people healthy, while the other award-winning program has helped one health system retain its employees, which is critical to the stability of the center and the communities it serves.

“All of Colorado’s community mental health centers and clinics are award-winners in my eyes,” said Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter, who delivered the keynote address at the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council’s (CBHC) annual conference. “I am inspired to hear the word ‘recovery’ everywhere I go. Thousands of people are recovering and leading better lives thanks to this innovative and effective system.”

Jefferson Center for Mental Health earned the Golden Light Bulb Award from CBHC – an award that recognizes excellence in clinical innovation. Jefferson Center’s wellness now! Program was designed with consumer involvement to provide numerous wellness classes and services focusing on quality behavioral health education and prevention for total integrated health. It is helping serve more people with mental health needs, while enhancing the recovery of Jefferson Center consumers.

In addition, Linda Gabel, Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Larimer Center for Mental Health, received the Outstanding Board Member Award. Gabel is the Director of Business Operations for Colorado State University’s Residential Services. The devastating mental illness that went undiagnosed and then misdiagnosed in her adult son ended in tragedy when he took his own life in 2005. Turning this tragedy into opportunity, Gabel draws on her son’s strength to advocate for accessible mental healthcare today.

“We all have a stake in serving unmet mental health needs in Colorado,” said George DelGrosso, Executive Director of CBHC.

“People with untreated mental illness consume much more medical care than the average individual, which drives up the cost of healthcare for everyone. This unmet need also is driving up costs within the criminal justice system, and lowering productivity in the workplace.”

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