How We Support Mental Healthcare in Colorado

The Denver Post recently published an article where they dove deeply into the state of mental health care in Colorado, and the breakdown in the system that leaves many Coloradans with mental illness without the treatment they need.

(Breakdown: Mental Health in Colorado – the full article can be read here)

One particular issue that the article tackles is the rate of mental illness as compared to the rate of those that receive services – and more specifically, those on Medicaid. Based on current numbers, they estimate that about 1 in 7 receive behavioral healthcare, as compared to the 1 in 4 people who will experience a mental illness.

 

Here at Griffith Centers, those numbers matter a great deal to us and inform how we engage with the community. As one of the community mental health care centers offering services in Colorado, we strive to be a part of the solution and close the gaps in mental health care for all, including those with Colorado Medicaid coverage. 

 

Here are just a few ways we’re working to address the disparities:

Our community-based program offers therapeutic services to children, teens, and adults with active Medicaid. To help meet the growing need for mental health services across the state, we now have locations throughout the state, and work hard to connect people seeking help with the best therapist for them. Sometimes, the families receiving help are involved with social service agencies (such as the Department of Human Services or Probation Departments) and we work with the families collaboratively as they navigate those systems. 

The A.S.K. program, a relatively recent addition to our services offered, has expanded drastically to help assist kids and their loved ones when a school has identified a family in need of assistance. Through various funding avenues, one which includes Medicaid, we are able to provide preventative and comprehensive mental health care to a family early on.  This program specifically focuses on promoting academic achievement, attendance, good character, and responsible decision-making to assist kids within their school, and in their lives outside the classroom as well. 

In addition to our outpatient-type programs, Griffith Centers for Children has a robust Foster Care Program, a Day Treatment education program, and a Residential program for adolescent boys in need. Internally, we prioritize continuity of care and do all we can to ensure that we utilize all the programs we have available to support a family as is needed to help them reach their goals and improve their health. 

Support Loved Ones
One step you can take right away - support those in your life struggling with mental illness. You may be so involved that you help them access resources in your area or you may simply be a good friend and compassionate listener.
Educate Yourself
Another easy step you can take to help - learn more! There are many websites, articles, and other resources that you can seek out in order to learn more about the mental illness of a loved one and how to help. On a larger scale, you can learn more about the mental health systems here in Colorado so you can be an informed consumer.
Get Involved
Be active and get involved in the change! You may choose to volunteer your time with a local agency or you might consider contacting your local representatives to let them know how important prioritizing mental health is. Being an advocate for improved systems and improved access is a powerful way to help be a catalyst for change!