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News

Mental Health in Douglas County benefits from new federal funding

Congressman Jason Crow presents County with $629,970 to advance programs and services of the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative

Posted on March 20, 2023 2023News and EventsPublic Health

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Did you know that mental and behavioral health are among the top three priorities in Douglas County? For nearly a decade, your community has been on a mission to address mental health needs in Douglas County.

Announced today, new federal funding will be infused into Douglas County’s ongoing work to find effective and sustainable solutions for mental and behavioral health issues.

During a press conference, U.S. Congressman Jason Crow presented the Board of Douglas County Commissioners with a check for $629,970 – funding from the final passage of the 2023 federal appropriations funding package.

“About a decade ago, we created the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative – a partnership that, today, includes more than 40 entities – all working together to tackle the mental and behavioral health needs of Douglas County,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon, Board Chair. “This new federal funding will enhance the work of our Mental Health Initiative and save even more lives.”

Each member of the House of Representatives was able to submit up to 15 Community Project Funding requests to benefit state or local governments or eligible nonprofits. Funding for Douglas County will help advance new mental health services.

“As families struggle with rising costs and uncertain supply chains, I’m focusing on ensuring Coloradans have access to the resources they need to thrive,” said Congressman Crow. “I’m proud to deliver these investments to support kids in our community, provide mental health care, honor our Veterans and so much more. I look forward to seeing the everyday impact these projects will have on folks in our district.”

About a decade ago, Douglas County formed the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative to collaboratively address unmet mental health needs. Today, that initiative is more than 40 members strong and includes several programs to help people with mental and behavioral health:

The County’s six Community Response Teams pair a law enforcement officer with a mental health professional to help adults and youth experiencing a mental health crisis avoid the emergency room or jail and, instead, find the support they need to heal.

The Care Compact is an intensive case management program helping adults with complex mental health needs navigate benefits and overcome barriers to care.

A Peer Recovery Team pairs a case manager and peer recovery coach to help high-risk and high-need individuals served by the Community Response Teams and Care Compact find care and avoid treatment gaps.

An ongoing, multi-year public outreach effort is helping eradicate stigma associated with mental health.

With this new federal funding and American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) allocations, new programs are being implemented:

A Walk-in Crisis Center will serve as an alternative to the emergency room for all ages. The facility will provide 24/7/365 walk-in crisis support, counseling, de-escalation, and information and referrals for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis.

A Child and Adolescent Crisis Stabilization Unit will have 16 beds to serve youth, ages 8-18, experiencing a mental health crisis.

A Veterans’ mental health clinician will provide support for Veterans with financial and geographic barriers to care.

A Suicide Prevention Grant Program will support data-driven countywide work specifically focused on middle-aged men, prenatal and post-natal women and families, older adults and youth ages 14 to 24.

All these programs are made possible by working together through the Mental Health Initiative. Learn more about the partners and the work of the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative online.

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