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Advancing Colorado’s Mental Health Care

Overview

The Advancing Colorado’s Mental Health Care project was a joint effort of The Trust, Caring for Colorado Foundation, The Denver Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation. The project provided support to human services agencies, mental health care providers and others to improve the integration and coordination of mental health services in Colorado communities.

Based on the 2003 comprehensive study of Colorado’s mental health system, the funding partners created the Advancing Colorado’s Mental Health Care project to help improve the system of care for Coloradans with severe mental health needs. The 2003 study The Status of Mental Health Care in Colorado detailed the crisis situation of Colorado’s mental health care systems, noting that only one-third of those who need treatment received it, that costs continued to rise as state expenditures decreased, and that care was often inaccessible and inadequate. The study also found that the mental health care system was unduly fragmented, which further prevented many people from receiving the care they need.

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Grantees

  • Denver Public Schools – Integration of School and Mental Health Systems Project
  • El Paso County Co-Occurring Disorders Collaboration
  • Health District of Northern Larimer County
  • Mesa County Consortium on Health
  • Prowers County Behavioral Health Integration Project
  • Summit County Collaborative

Evaluation Findings

Evaluation
Heartland Network for Social Research conducted an independent evaluation of the Advancing Colorado’s Mental Health Care Project. The evaluation assessed the improvements in the coordination and integration of mental health services for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance. Each of the six grantees was part of the evaluation. Lessons for agencies pursuing integration work, as well as lessons for funders and policymakers are described in the final evaluation report.