About Colorado Crisis Services
Colorado Crisis Services is the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering individuals mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. Its mission is to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing Coloradans with greater access to crisis services wherever they are at 24/7/365 regardless of ability to pay.
Colorado Crisis Services is managed by the Behavioral Health Administration and provides confidential, professional, and immediate support, 24/7/365 on the phone, text, or in person at our walk-in centers. Learn more at www.coloradocrisisservices.org.
Crisis Resolution Team (CRT)
What is a Crisis Resolution Team (CRT)?
A Crisis Resolution Team supports families with youth and young adults who are experiencing behavioral health challenges and would benefit from intensive, short-term (6-8 weeks), in-home services and linkage to ongoing supports.
Examples of CRT services include: a needs assessment, service planning, care coordination, crisis management, peer support, family skill building, individual/family therapy, psychiatry and medication management. CRT aims to avoid hospital admission whenever possible by wrapping services around the family in an effective manner.
Children, Youth and Young Adults:
- 0 – 21 years of age
- Have presented in the crisis system and/or emergency departments with high acuity behavioral health needs
- Have received a crisis evaluation and is determined to be safe to remain in the home or community to receive intensive, short-term stabilization interventions.
Each family will have access to a number of services including:
- case management to support clients and families in meeting their treatment plan needs
- peer support and/or family skills coaching to foster connectedness goal setting, forming new routines to achieve positive, lasting change
- medication management
- care coordination to provide tailored support and foster connection with additional community resources to best meet the needs of the family
- What are the hours of service?
Frequency of the services shall be offered at a minimum of 3 days per week, up to a variety of services multiple times daily depending on clinical need. Duration of services shall be offered for a minimum of 4 weeks, up to 6 weeks depending on clinical need.
- How do I make a referral?
Referrals will be accepted from hospital emergency departments and the Colorado Crisis Services continuum. The referring agency would complete the referral form, gather any supporting documentation that would be beneficial to the team, and ensure releases of information are signed.
- Where can I receive these services?
Region 1: Mesa, Delta, Montrose
Region 2: Weld
Region 3: Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert
Region 4: Fremont, Chaffee, Lake, Custer
Region 5: Denver
Region 6: Jefferson, Gilpin, Clear Creek
Region 7: El Paso
Walk in Centers (WIC)- Open 24/7/365
You’ll check in at the front desk at a local walk-in center location and be asked to complete a brief screening to determine the next steps, which will likely involve meeting with a clinician for a thorough evaluation. This process helps decide what next steps are needed. This may also include a brief physical health screening by a medical professional.
Crisis walk-in services are available regardless of one’s ability to pay. If an individual has private insurance, a co-payment and other out-of-pocket expenses may be required depending on the plan coverage to your insurance provider. However, no payment is required at the time of service, and no one will be turned away for crisis services, regardless of ability to pay.
News and Reports
- Crisis Services to Continue, Expand Under New Regional Structure (June 2019)
Starting July 1, a new set of agencies will manage the state’s comprehensive behavioral health crisis system and ensure statewide coverage. Crisis services will be managed across seven regions, instead of four, to align with the state’s Medicaid regions. The annual budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 among the regions is $29.35 million, which is an increase of $1.5 million from the previous fiscal year.
The new structure contracts with agencies called Administrative Service Organizations, and reflects community recommendations to improve the state crisis system, which was put into place in 2014 following the Aurora theater shooting. Each agency has developed and will manage a network of providers that will deliver crisis behavioral health services including mobile response, walk-in, stabilization and respite crisis services. In addition, the state is working with the ASOs to expand community-based mobile response, which has been historically underutilized.
Switching from four to seven regions will simplify the process for patients accessing care and better enable the state to analyze and track community behavioral health services and unmet needs. ASOs are legal entities with the ability to support the crisis system through required data reporting, care coordination, and managing contracts with providers and ensure quality patient care.
OBH has executed contracts with all seven regions, which start on July 1. OBH has every confidence that these new ASOs will support a system that is integrated into the behavioral health care continuum, coordinates across care transitions, and collaborates with local, regional, and state partners. The Office of Behavioral Health and the ASOs are committed to enhancing the behavioral health crisis system to ensure comprehensive, coordinated, easily accessible, culturally informed, and integrated services are available for people experiencing a behavioral health crisis.The crisis line, 844.493.TALK, remains Coloradans’ primary point for accessing care quickly, from wherever you are, or if you don’t know where to start. The crisis line is responsible for assessing and determining when mobile dispatch is necessary for individuals in crisis. A map of walk-in centers is available at coloradocrisisservices.org and these locations can be used to seek immediate services. Walk-in centers and hospital emergency departments will assess client needs and connect individuals in crisis to appropriate services.
Coloradans in need will still access the system in the following ways:
To find your ASO, visit the Find Behavioral Health Help page on the CDHS website. The ASOs should be contacted for the following needs:If you want to be part of the network If you are looking for info on how to refer people to the crisis system If you have a complaint about the crisis system If you need data regarding crisis services.
The state’s public behavioral health system also includes the 17 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), which provide coverage for every county in the state. All CMHCs by statute are required to provide “at least the following services provided for the prevention and treatment of behavioral or mental health disorders in persons residing in a particular community in or near the facility so situated:
(a) Inpatient services;
(b) Outpatient services;
(c) Partial hospitalization;
(d) Emergency services;
(e) Consultative and educational services.
Sixteen of the 17 CMHCs have contracted with the ASO in their region to provide crisis services. OBH has also been working with the CMHCs to create more flexible budgets for their state contracts and encouraged them to prioritize emergency services.
- CDHS Announces New Contracts for Colorado Crisis Services (March 2019)
DENVER (March 26, 2019) — The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health has announced new contractors for Colorado Crisis Services regions statewide and the crisis line, as well as planned improvements to the crisis system. The comprehensive statewide behavioral health crisis care system for individuals, families and communities was created in response to the Aurora theater shootings in July 2012 and has provided more than half a million services to Coloradans.
Colorado Crisis Services will now be administered in seven regions to ensure a robust network of providers and to align with the state’s Medicaid regions, simplifying the process for patients accessing care and better enabling the state to analyze and track community health and wellness. The new contracts will begin summer 2019, and the regional crisis contractors, called Administrative Services Organizations (ASOs), will provide a network of walk-in crisis centers, crisis stabilization centers and respite and mobile crisis services in their regions. The crisis system has an annual budget of more than $31 million.
“As a state, we are always working to improve the customer experience and partner across local and state agencies. These changes support efficient and aligned care systems and allow us to better track health by community,” said Robert Werthwein, Director of the Office of Behavioral Health and acting CDHS Deputy Executive Director for Operations. “These administrative regions will coordinate services from local community mental health providers, and as a result we expect patients to see strengthened partnerships with local systems like law enforcement, county services, and hospitals.”
The new ASOs for the crisis system are as follows, each listed with the maximum amount of annual funding they’ll be awarded via contract:
Region 1: Rocky Mountain Health Plans, $7,538,371
Region 2: Beacon Health Options, $2,133,461
Region 3: No Award, $5,898,147
Region 4: Health Colorado, $2,750,242
Region 5: Signal Behavioral Health Network, $2,935,660
Region 6: Signal Behavioral Health Network, $3,689,981
Region 7: Beacon Health Options, $3,102,617
Region 3 did not receive a qualifying bid, so that region’s vendor will be selected by competitive negotiation and announced at a later date. See a map of the regions below.
The crisis line competitive bid was won by current provider Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, which has operated the state’s crisis line since inception. The crisis line has a budget of $3,068,291 and served 54,826 individuals last year through text, online chat, and call services.
The Department re-procured the crisis system because the current contracts were due to expire. Stakeholder and consumer feedback, including the work of the Crisis Steering Committee, prompted changes to the crisis system, such as more focus on mobile response and coordination with law enforcement and others responding to behavioral health emergencies to get people connected to care.
“We hope that by expanding focus on mobile services, and aligning with county efforts for these services, we can bring care to people in their homes and communities when they need it most,” Werthwein said.
- Colorado Crisis Steering Committee Final Report and Recommendations (June 2018)
A report from the Colorado Crisis Steering Committee provides recommendations to the Colorado Department of Human Services for upgrades to the behavioral health crisis system. The Colorado Crisis Services system is a $33 million statewide resource for people in need of mental health or substance use help, information and referrals.
The Committee, which included representatives from community mental health centers, local public health offices, law enforcement and other government agencies, convened eight times between March and June. Over this period, the Committee spent time understanding how the current system functions and identifying prioritized recommendations for system improvements.
The Committee embraced the idea of “No Wrong Door.” In other words, if a person is in need of crisis services, they should be able to access services using any of the modalities available through the crisis system, which includes the hotline, walk-in centers and mobile response. The crisis system aims to provide the right services in the right locations at the right time. The report said the system should be flexible and integrated while meeting community needs and acknowledging each community’s nuances. Given the ever-changing environment in which we live, the system should remain current and relevant, the report said.
- Expansion of the Colorado Crisis System Report (C.R.S. 27-60-103 (6) (c)) (May 2018)
A report from the Colorado Department of Human Services provides an update on the status of Colorado Crisis Services expansions in Senate Bill 17-207 and the 2017 Long Bill.Senate Bill 17-207, which was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in May 2017, provided $7.1 million to the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) to expand the crisis system and better equip law enforcement to respond to individuals in mental health crisis. The 2017 Long Bill allocated $2.6 million for Law Enforcement-Assisted Diversion (LEAD) pilots to assist law enforcement with redirecting individuals to community-based services instead of jail.More than $3.4 million of the funding provided through this bill supports regional improvements and enhanced partnerships between law enforcement and the four crisis contractors -- West Slope Casa (WSC), Southern Colorado Crisis Connection (SCCC), Northeast Behavioral Health (NBH) and Community Crisis Connection (CCC). The regional improvements are now well underway in their efforts to:• Increase collaboration with local law enforcement;• Improve capacity to conduct face-to-face (including telehealth) assessments;• Ensure that walk-in centers, crisis stabilization units and acute treatment units are able to accept and triage individuals on emergency mental health holds; and• Expand local partnerships to ensure jails are not used as a placement option for individuals on emergency mental health holds.The Office of Behavioral Health finalized all contracts related to service expansion and preparing communities to provide alternatives to jails for people experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The expansion to the crisis system has resulted in a reinforced infrastructure with new support mechanisms for providers and access points for patients. These include:
• Three new crisis stabilization units with at least 25 new beds• Enhanced access for one walk-in facility, providing 24 hour access• Four new peer navigation specialists to help clients connect to appropriate local services in their region• Three enhanced mobile crisis programs affecting up to 16 counties• Enhanced staffing in one CSU to better serve complex and high need clients• Increase respite services in two CSUsWork has begun in all four regions to expand service delivery and report data based on SB 207 improvements. All regions have agreed to report a standard set of data, which will be reported monthly to OBH. Specific data templates were created for each region’s outlined enhancement plans that will serve as an ongoing source of information for future reports and regular monitoring of contracts. Due to the extended contract and procurement processes, a full report of all the crisis regions’ new measures will be available in June 2018. Common elements incorporated into each region’s SB 207 reporting templates include:• Number of people placed on a 72-hold• Number of people in which a first responder was involved during crisis response• Number of people brought to a walk-in center or emergency department by a first responder• Number of people transported by secure transportation companies and the most common pick-up/drop-off locations (CCC and WSC only)• Most common location for crisis mobile response (CCC, NBH, and WSC only)Community partners identified through the state solicitation process are also completing additional enhancements through SB 207 and the Long Bill. All additional enhancements have been awarded and work has begun. This includes additional enhancements to provide transportation for people in crisis and collaboration between behavioral health clinicians and law enforcement.• Four communities were awarded the Law Enforcement-Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program contracts and announced in Jan. 2018.• Eight communities were awarded the Co-Responder Program contracts and announced in Jan. 2018.• Two organizations were the recipients of the Transportation Pilot contracts executed in Feb. 2018.• One organization received the Law Enforcement Training contract executed in Feb. 2018.• Two organizations were awarded contracts to provide evaluation services for both the LEAD/Co-Responder Program and Transportation Pilot and executed in March 2018.
- Committee to Evaluate, Improve Colorado’s Crisis System (January 2018)
DENVER (Jan. 5, 2018) — The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) today announced plans to convene a multi-stakeholder committee to provide recommendations to CDHS for upgrades to Colorado’s behavioral health crisis system.
“This is an opportunity to enhance the system and to hear from all who are affected by it,” said Reggie Bicha, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Colorado Crisis Services has produced many good outcomes for the state of Colorado, and this is the time to make adjustments to ensure it is functioning as effectively as possible for people in need of these services, and for taxpayers.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper initiated “Strengthening Colorado’s Mental Health System: A Plan to Safeguard All Coloradans” in response to the Aurora theater shootings in July 2012. The creation of a comprehensive statewide behavioral health crisis care system for individuals, families and communities was a key component in the plan.
The crisis system in Colorado includes a 24-hour hotline staffed by professional counselors, a peer line, walk-in crisis centers, crisis stabilization centers and respite and mobile crisis services. The hotline launched in August 2014, and the on-the-ground aspects of the crisis response system opened in December 2014. From inception through October 2017, Colorado Crisis Services has provided 582,969 services. In October 2017, the crisis system provided 23,305 services.
Over the next six months, the committee will work to:Identify gaps in current service delivery or access. Address the use of data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system. Increase system efficiencies for crisis services and improve mobile response in communities. Establish services and clinical standards to meet the needs of the intended population. Ensure that services are reaching those populations at highest risk of suicide including adolescents, adult men and veterans. Address licensing challenges and prioritize regional solutions for co-located and fully integrated services.
The committee is expected to convene subcommittees to provide different and necessary perspectives on the crisis system.
CHDS’ decision to evaluate the system comes as a series of upgrades are planned. Senate Bill 17-207, which was signed by Gov. Hickenlooper in May, provided $7.1 million to the Office of Behavioral Health to expand the crisis system and better equip law enforcement to respond to individuals in mental health crisis. In addition, the Long Bill allocated $2.6 million for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) pilots to assist law enforcement with redirecting individuals to community-based services instead of jail.
The planned regional improvements will increase collaboration with local law enforcement, improve capacity to conduct face-to-face (including telehealth) assessments; ensure that walk-in centers, crisis stabilization units and acute treatment units are able to accept and triage individuals on emergency mental health holds; and expand local partnerships to ensure jails are not used as a placement option for individuals on emergency mental health holds.
The final conclusions and recommendations from the committee will be compiled in a report byDirector of the Office Behavioral Health, CDHS, or designee (chair) Director of the Division of Community Behavioral Health, Office of Behavioral Health, or designee 1 representative from the current crisis hotline system 4 individuals representing community behavioral health centers or mental health centers 3 consumers/advocacy representatives 4 members of the General Assembly 1 representative from the Colorado Hospital Association 1 county human services representative 1 local public health representative 1 designee from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing 1 individual representing law enforcement agencies
June 1, 2018. The committee will include the following members:
- Expansion of the Colorado Crisis System Report (C.R.S. 27-60-103 (6) (b)) (November 2017)
This report provides a brief overview on the status of Colorado Crisis Services expansions. Senate Bill 17-207, which was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in May 2017, provided $7.1 million to the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) in the Colorado Department of Human Services to expand the crisis system and better equip law enforcement to respond to individuals in mental health crisis. In addition, the Long Bill allocated $2.6 million for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) pilots to assist law enforcement with redirecting individuals to community-based services instead of jail.Increase collaboration with local law enforcement; Improve capacity to conduct face-to-face (including telehealth) assessments;
This first infusion of funds to improve the crisis system, which is more than $3.4 million, supports enhanced partnerships between law enforcement and the four regional crisis contractors -- West Slope Casa, Southern Colorado Crisis Connection, Northeast Behavioral Health and Community Crisis Connection. The planned regional improvements will:
The Office of Behavioral Health has worked closely with the crisis contractors to finalize contracts for this purpose. This collaborative process required multiple iterations as requested by the contractors to meet the needs of each community and address feedback from community partners and providers. The Department was pleased to provide continuing technical assistance during this time to ensure the amendments met the legislative intent and unique regional needs. Contracts with three of the four regional crisis partners and the rural enhancement contract were fully executed as of October 30, 2017. The Department has given the remaining contractor until November 3 to submit their final version of the contract for their region. The contractor requested to change their contract on October 30 due to their concerns about capital construction timelines. The Department will expedite the contract to ensure full execution in the timeliest manner possible.
Additional enhancements through both Senate Bill 17-207 and the Long Bill will be completed through the state solicitation process, many of which are out for bid. Awardees are ideally announced within 30 days of closing each bid, depending on the number of proposals and the
scheduling of the state procurement office scoring committee.
- Ensure that walk-in centers, crisis stabilization units and acute treatment units are able
- to accept and triage individuals on emergency mental health holds; and
- Expand local partnerships to ensure jails are not used as a placement option for
- individuals on emergency mental health holds.
- Regional Expansion (November 2017)
Planned regional enhancements to the Colorado crisis response system will increase collaboration with local law enforcement, improve capacity to conduct face-to-face (including telehealth) assessments; ensure that walk-in centers, crisis stabilization units and acute treatment units are able to accept and triage individuals on emergency mental health holds; and expand local partnerships to ensure jails are not used as a placement option for individuals on emergency mental health holds.
See a press release about the enhancements.
This first infusion of funds to improve the crisis system, which is $3.4 million, supports the following regional plans:
Both Senate Bill 207 and the 2017 Long Bill included money for additional crisis system enhancements that will be completed through the state solicitation process. Those enhancements include:
For a flyer with the regional crisis systems plans, click here.
- Colorado Crisis Services, agriculture form partnership (September 2017)
Colorado Crisis Services recently entered into a partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, the Farm Bureau and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union to spread the word about crisis services to agricultural communities.
With the economic downturn, the four agricultural entities wanted to make a proactive effort to provide information about Colorado Crisis Services. These four entities will share crisis contact information and invite Colorado Crisis Services to the table or speak at events.
The goal is to reach family, friends, and neighbors of farmers and ranchers who might need support. The Department of Agriculture says this effort is in the spirit of “neighbors helping neighbors,” a common practice in agricultural communities.
In addition, Colorado Crisis Services hotline staff will undergo training specifically for the needs of the agricultural community.
Read recent coverage of this partnership in the Denver Post and on Colorado Public Radio.
- Office of Behavioral Health Holds Crisis Stakeholder Meeting (September 2017)
The Office of Behavioral Health held a stakeholder meeting Aug. 17 to discuss changes to the Colorado Crisis Services system and to answer questions. A recording of the meeting is available here, and a PDF of the slide deck is here.
Colorado Crisis Services was created five years ago and has since provided thousands of Coloradans with timely access to services when needed, regardless of payer source. Over the last several months, the Colorado Department of Human Services met with multiple stakeholders in a public steering committee, which provided the state with recommendations on how to improve the crisis system.
The steering committee recommendations and the feedback received on Aug. 17 will be used as the Office of Behavioral Health moves forward with improvements to the system.
- Governor Hickenlooper signs bill to expand Colorado’s crisis system, ensure those in mental health crisis receive proper treatment (May 2017)
DENVER (May 18, 2017) — Today Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-207, strengthening Colorado’s crisis response system and effectively ending the use of jails as a placement option for individuals on an emergency mental health hold.
The crisis system in Colorado includes a 24-hour hotline staffed by professional counselors, a peer line, walk-in crisis centers, crisis stabilization centers and respite and mobile crisis services. This bill provides more than $7 million to the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) in the Department of Human Services to expand the crisis system and better equip law enforcement to respond to individuals in mental health crisis.
The legislation is the product of recommendations from the Mental Health Hold Task Force, which was created at the governor’s request in 2016 to identify ways Colorado’s system could better serve individuals in a mental health crisis. The task force -- composed of a diverse set of stakeholders including law enforcement, mental health advocates, hospitals, clinicians, regulatory agencies and people with lived experience and their families -- worked with the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice to create the solution presented in SB 17-207.
“Until now, people in Colorado could spend up to 72 hours in jail simply because they had a behavioral health issue and needed help,” said Nancy VanDeMark, OBH director. “Through the hard work of many people, we’re now able to expand and enhance the availability of crisis response services statewide. Coloradans in crisis will be connected with the right behavioral health services in an appropriate setting.”
Through SB 17-207, OBH will in the coming year expand the availability of mobile clinicians, use of telehealth, options for crisis stabilization in underserved communities, transportation for people in crisis, and collaboration between behavioral health clinicians and law enforcement.
The transportation program will have drivers trained to transport people in mental health crisis to a mental health center or hospital, reducing the use of law enforcement and ambulances. The bill directs $5.2 million to pair law enforcement officers with behavioral health providers to assist with individuals in behavioral health crisis, called a co-responder model.
- Strengthening Colorado’s Mental Health System: A Plan to Safeguard All Coloradans (2014)
In response to the Aurora theater shootings in July 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper initiated “Strengthening Colorado’s Mental Health System: A Plan to Safeguard All Coloradans.” A key component of this plan was the creation of a comprehensive statewide behavioral health crisis care system for individuals, families and communities. The goal of this crisis care system is to ensure people are receiving the right services, at the right place and at the right time. Often, the most difficult part about getting help for a mental health, substance use or an emotional issue is knowing where to begin – especially when an issue reaches a crisis point. Colorado Crisis Services is that single point of entry for any individual experiencing a crisis.
Crisis Services will:Improve access to the most appropriate resources and services as early as possible and promote recovery for the individual Decrease the number of unnecessary involuntary civil commitments, utilization of hospital emergency departments, jails and homeless programs for individuals experiencing a behavioral health emergency
Key Service ComponentsStatewide 24-Hour crisis help line - Staffed by skilled professionals and peers to assess and make appropriate referrals to resources and treatment Vendor - Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners Launched - August 1, 2014 Cost - Approximately $2.3 million annually 24-hour crisis support at 844.493.TALK (8255) Walk-in crisis services / crisis stabilization unit(s) - 24-hour urgent care services with capacity for immediate clinical intervention, triage, stabilization, and connection to services Mobile crisis services - 24-hour mobile crisis units with the ability to respond within one hour in urban areas and two hours in rural areas to a behavioral health crisis in the community for immediate clinical intervention, triage, stabilization, and connection to services Crisis respite/residential - A range of short-term crisis residential and respite services
Behavioral Health Administration
Mary Hoefler, Manager
Megan Lee, Manager
Administrative Services Organizations
The Behavioral Health Administration contracts with Administrative Services Organizations (ASOs) to provide a network of walk-in crisis centers, crisis stabilization centers, and respite and mobile crisis services in their regions. The ASOs manage the state’s comprehensive behavioral health crisis system across seven regions, aligning directly with the state’s Medicaid regions. Each ASO is tasked with creating a sustainable network of providers to deliver crisis services to Coloradans.
Rocky Mountain Health Plans
Meg Taylor, Clinical Director
2775 Crossroads Blvd
Grand Junction, CO 81506
- About Rocky Mountain Health Plans
Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) is the ASO for Region 1, which consists of 21 counties on the Western Slope plus Larimer County. Founded in Grand Junction, RMHP has 45 years of experience building networks and partnering with providers on the Western Slope and also serves as the Medicaid Regional Accountable Entity (RAE) for the region.
RMHP has contracted continuously with the Colorado Medicaid program since 1975, and has participated in the Medicaid Accountable Care Collaborative since 2011. As the Region 1 RAE for the past year, RMHP noted they were able to gain a strong understanding of the available services — and the challenges individuals seeking behavioral health care faced, including accessing care — across the Western Slope and in Larimer County. Some of these learnings were drawn from various focus groups facilitated by RMHP. According to RMHP, this experience, coupled with their commitment to provide access to high-quality, whole-person care, led to their interest in being the ASO for the region as well.
Now as the region’s ASO, RMHP said they are working with local community partners and providers to expand the network of providers that can perform mobile response, helping alleviate demand for first responder resources, law enforcement, or ambulances. RMHP said their strategy focuses on bringing services to people wherever they may be in the community – not expecting individuals to find, figure out, and transport themselves for care while in crisis.
A map with all of the ASOs and contact information for each region is available on the OBH Find Behavioral Health Help web page.
Carelon Behavioral Health
Elizabeth Richards, Crisis Systems Program Director
- About Carelon Behavioral Health
Carelon is the ASO covering the northeastern, south-central, and southeastern portions of the state (Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lake, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mineral, Morgan, Otero, Park, Phillips, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache, Sedgwick, Teller, Washington, Weld, and Yuma Counties).
Carelon brings over 25 years of working collaboratively with safety-net providers in southern and eastern Colorado, as well as in partnership with Behavioral Health Organizations and the predecessor of the Regional Accountable Entities (RAEs) - the Regional Collaborative Care Organizations (RCCOs). With this background, Carelon is particularly suited to take on the ASO role overseeing 32 counties through a coordinated system of care by partnering largely with community mental health centers (CMHCs).
According to Carelon, they intend to leverage existing infrastructure while utilizing their statewide network to fill gaps in care. For instance, in Colorado Springs, Carelon has contracted through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Community Response Team (CRT) which includes paramedics, law enforcement, and mental health clinicians. This unique model is a partnership with stakeholders in El Paso County and is showing positive outcomes. Carelon is also is developing models to put crisis clinicians directly in under-served counties in southeastern Colorado.
In addition to the ongoing work in Colorado,Carelon has national expertise in providing crisis services in other states such as Washington, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Beacon will draw upon its national experience and local presence in developing and expanding crisis services. Carelon looks forward to building upon existing crisis services models with an eye toward innovation in rural and frontier communities.
Signal Behavioral Health Network
Jenn Conrad, Director of Crisis Services
- About Signal Behavioral Health Network
For more than 20 years, Signal has provided safety net substance use services in the majority of the counties in the crisis regions it covers now for Colorado Crisis Services (Region 3 - Elbert, Douglas, Arapahoe, and Adams; Region 5 - Denver; and Region 6 - Jefferson, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Broomfield, and Boulder). As a result, Signal has a deep-seated understanding of the diverse approaches required when working in each of these areas. For instance, Gilpin and Clear Creek, located in the foothills, require unique consideration to developing accessible services. Denver County, with its highly concentrated population, needs scaled mobile services. And Elbert and the rural areas of Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas all have very different needs than the metro area of the regions.
Signal has a long history of working in partnership with OBH to operationalize the delivery of quality behavioral health services, expanding access, and thinking creatively about how services can be evolved to meet needs. According to Signal CEO Daniel Darting, the decision to apply for the ASO role felt like a logical extension of the work they had been doing for years. “As we examined the State’s crisis services vision for continued development, we saw a natural connection to our work and abilities. We are also eager to learn from communities on what works, what they need, and how we can extend quality services to residents of Colorado in our regions of responsibility.”
To highlight one area of its work, in its first months at the helm of crisis services in these regions, Signal has been busily working with both experienced, long-standing and new mobile services providers, as well as with the statewide crisis line. Its intent is to leverage the mixture of experience and fresh perspectives in order to improve and expand crisis services. “We think the incorporation of telehealth and other technology supports can augment the delivery of services,” Darting said. “We also think it is critical to coordinate criteria and services with the local Medicaid Regional Accountable Entities and service providers, recognizing transitions of care may be needed after mobile response. Working with their strong care management teams will be vital.”
719.621.9500 ext 104
- About Health Colorado
Health Colorado is the Regional Accountable Entity (RAE) for Region 4 of Health First Colorado, the state’s Medicaid program. In this role, it is responsible for managing physical and behavioral health services for Health First Colorado members who live within the region’s 19 counties (Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Lake, Las Animas, Mineral, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties). Its partners include a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC), and a national Managed Care Organization.
Health Colorado partners have deep roots with decades of experience providing health care services in Region 4. It is comprised of six organizations: Beacon Health Options, Health Solutions, San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group, Solvista Health, Southeast Health Group, and Valley Wide Health Systems Inc. These groups partnered to form Health Colorado with the strong belief that local communities are in the best position to make decisions designed to improve the lives of their members.
In alignment with Beacon Health Options - which serves as the subcontracted ASO for Region 4 - Health Colorado intends to leverage existing crisis system infrastructure while utilizing its network to fill gaps in care. Through collaborative community stakeholder engagement Health Colorado looks forward to providing exceptional crisis services to southeast Colorado.