Colorado Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) Progress in Transforming the Colorado Continuum of Care

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The BHA is charged with creating a coordinated, cohesive, and effective behavioral health system in Colorado [27-50-102, C.R.S.]

DENVER, CO (April 13, 2023) - The BHA launched in July 2022, and since then has made steady progress in achieving its expansive vision of behavioral health reform in Colorado. The BHA is, first and foremost, a relationship builder collaborating with all Colorado state agencies to ensure there is a networked approach along the behavioral health continuum. In addition to state agencies, the BHA collaborates with the people of Colorado, Tribal Nations, county leadership, legislative leaders, advocates, and providers to generate solutions and build shared accountability while uplifting the perspectives and wisdom of people with lived expertise. The BHA wants our families, friends, and neighbors to thrive as we build upon decades of reform efforts in Colorado. Efforts underway to achieve reform include,but are not limited to the following:

Stakeholder Outreach

The BHA knows that every experience matters, and our team has been engaging with people across Colorado, hosting events to gather feedback and

build relationships across the behavioral health system. The BHA recently completed a six-city statewide roadshow and is co-creating the summer stakeholdering schedule with agency partners and Colorado communities.

Grant Awards

The BHA has granted more than $150 million in grant opportunities. The BHA has issued awards for the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Workforce grant programs accounting for over $50 million, and will soon issue awards for the Community Investment grant programs accounting for over $30 million. In the next few weeks, the BHA expects to issue notices of awards for the Criminal Justice Early Intervention and Deflection grant programs accounting for nearly $50 million. It has been an unprecedented amount of procurements and applications.

Legislative Session 2023

The BHA has been actively involved in the 2023 session and is pleased with the momentum of our implementation update bill (HB 23-1236), which is setting a solid foundation for the systemic improvements and transformational reform that is the foundation of the new behavioral health continuum of care launching in July 2024.


The BHA has been working closely with agency partners, advocates, providers, and stakeholders in the development of a robust regulatory framework, starting with the transfer of licensing authorities from CDPHE to the BHA and then moving through rule packets, including additional provider guidance, involuntary mental health services, and rules addressing the continuum as a whole. The effective date of the current rule packet (which addresses BHE licensure) is October 1, 2023, with the remaining rules targeted for an effective date of January 1, 2024.

Behavioral Health Administrative Service Organization (BHASO) Planning

The BHA is finalizing the BHASO regional structure. After considering stakeholder feedback on the original two-region approach, the BHA has pivoted to a three-region model that recognizes the uniqueness of Colorado communities and the people of Colorado’s preferred access points to behavioral healthcare.

Mobile Crisis Updates(MCR)

The BHA continues to work with rural and frontier communities to address MCR service innovations and funding gaps. The BHA is committed to providing additional funding to support the critical relationships between rural hospitals and MCR teams while navigating systemic improvements and opportunities that are collaborative and aligned with federal standards. 

Universal Contracting Provisions (UCPs)

The BHA is engaging with providers and agency partners across the state to develop UCPs designed to heighten accountability and lessen agency and provider burden. The UCPs will begin appearing in contracts for behavioral health services in fiscal year 2024.

The BHA was called into existence to bring about a system-wide response, innovative partnerships, and the resources needed to support whole-person health. The BHA is boldly committed to co-creating a people-first behavioral health system that includes a comprehensive strategy for improving access, quality, and affordability of services, as well as an intentional approach to naming and addressing root causes of injustices.

The BHA’s values of truth, equity, collaboration, community-informed practice, and generational impact will continue to guide this work as the BHA honors lived experience, implements structural change, and reimagines our Colorado care system to have an impact seven generations from now.


About the Behavioral Health Administration

The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) is a new cabinet member-led agency within the State of Colorado, housed within the Department of Human Services and is designed to be the single entity responsible for driving coordination and collaboration across state agencies to address behavioral health needs. Find us online at or follow us on social media with the username @BHAConnect.