Changes to Come in Colorado's Mental Health Care System
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - In light of the deadly shooting spree at an Aurora movie theater, Governor Hickenlooper has announced a state wide expansion of mental health services.
The CEO of Colorado West Regional Mental Health, Sharon Raggio, says Colorado ranks last, by a significant margin, in the country for the number of psychiatric hospital beds available for the population, and she's happy to hear there's something being done to change that.
Several representatives of the mental health community, including the Executive Director of Colorado's Human Services, Reggie Bicha, spoke about the new plan at a conference held at Colorado West, the only psychiatric hospital in Western Colorado.
"Mental health has had a history of stigma where people are hesitant to talk about it and I'm thrilled that the governor is putting it on the table as a topic for community conversation and that he's looking at putting additional resources towards it," said Raggio.
The main points of Hickenlooper's plan to strengthen Colorado's mental health system is to:
-Provide the right services to the right people at the right time.
- Enhance community care.
- Enhance Colorado's Crisis Response System.
- Expand hospital capacity.
- Build a trauma-informed culture of care.
Tonight on KREX NewsChannel 5 at 10 p.m. we'll break down what each of those points will mean, and when the Western Slope will be seeing some of those benefits.