Historic Reforms To Improve Mental Health Care
When I took office, I spoke with urgency about the need for bold, robust investments in getting treatment to Coloradans with severe mental illness.
Then I got down to work. In 2022, the Assembly made significant progress on this issue, passing historic legislation to improve behavioral health care in Colorado. By building bipartisan support and bringing pragmatic legislation forward, we put more resources than ever before toward improving Coloradans’ access to mental health care.
My foremost mental health bill, HB22-1303, allocates nearly $70 million to fund 16 new adult residential treatment beds at the state mental hospital in Fort Logan, and up to 125 new residential care beds statewide. It creates more inpatient capacity for people who suffer from serious and persistent mental illness on the Front Range and in rural areas, which have little or no access to residential care.
To bolster the state’s mental health workforce, I sponsored two bills, SB22-256 and HB22-1268, to improve conditions for therapists in private practice by reforming convoluted Medicaid payment systems.
Colorado was recently ranked last in the nation in access to adult mental health care. We have so much more work to do, and I am committed to building on the historic progress of the 2022 Assembly.