In the last two weeks, we have made more progress on mental health care access in Colorado than we’ve seen in decades.
On Wednesday, my bill for more adult residential treatment beds passed in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee, 9-1. If the bill goes on to pass the Assembly, it will create more treatment capacity for adults with serious mental illness, bringing a measure of relief to their families and our communities. My bill to reform mental health holds also passed in committee with strong bipartisan support. It strengthens and streamlines the state’s involuntary civil commitment system to protect patients and providers, reduce repeat hospitalizations, and improve treatment outcomes. Additionally, legislation to streamline behavioral health services in Colorado through a new Behavioral Health Administration passed committee, 10-1.
We have more hurdles to clear on the way to the Governor’s desk, but these early wins demonstrated strong bipartisan support. The impacts of untreated mental illness are too overwhelming to ignore. People finally seem to want to solve this problem.
It is always hard to hear the stories of impacted individuals and families, but giving these folks a voice at the Capitol has been an honor. After one committee hearing last week, a friend of mine, who also has a son with a serious mental illness, sent me this photograph of my kid long before he got sick. It is a glimpse of what I’m fighting for. — Judy
Join the Boulder Delegation for an April Town Hall