The BHA Acknowledges Mental Health Awareness Month in May by Sharing Free Resources

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DENVER (May 1, 2024) - May is Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM). Observed since 1949, MHAM exists to help address mental health struggles that many Americans face, to educate people about resources available to them, and to reduce stigma around seeking support. This year, Governor Jared Polis is proclaiming the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Colorado, and the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) is joining the movement - raising awareness about the state of mental health in Colorado and sharing mental health resources for different communities all throughout the month.


“According to the Colorado Health Access Survey, more than one in four people in our state reported poor mental health in 2023. That is why BHA remains committed to ensuring that all people in Colorado are not only aware of the resources available to them, but feel safe and supported in seeking out the care that they need. Mental Health Awareness Month is a fantastic opportunity for our agency to continue to fight to support and expand access to high-quality, easily accessible behavioral and mental health care for everyone.” said Dannette R. Smith, Commissioner of BHA.


Ensuring all Coloradans have access to affordable and quality health care, is central to my work as Director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. As we recognize Mental Health Awareness month, the Polis-Primavera administration remains steadfast in our commitment to helping Coloradans get the care they need, when they need it and fostering a healthier and more holistic Colorado for generations to come,” said Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera.


BHA is grateful for continued support from all of our partners during this important month and beyond, including but not limited to Mental Health Colorado, the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, and NAMI Colorado.


“At Mental Health Colorado, we work to create healthier minds across the lifespan and advocate for every Coloradan who experiences a mental health or substance use condition. The unfortunate reality is that while many Coloradans are living with health needs, they don’t always get connected with the support and resources they need to heal. We are proud to partner with the State of Colorado to raise awareness of mental health in our state and help more Coloradans access the services they need to lead happier, healthier lives,” said Vincent Atchity, President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado.


Kara Johnson-Hufford, CEO of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, noted, “The nonprofit safety net providers that CBHC represents are honored to care for our communities, especially individuals with serious mental illness. Now more than ever, it’s essential to build awareness, break stigma and expand access to mental health and substance use treatment services.”


Additionally, Ray Merenstein, Executive Director of NAMI Colorado, remarked, “NAMI Colorado is pleased to partner with the BHA under its new leadership of Commissioner Smith.  We are grateful to her entire team as they work tirelessly to meet the needs with equity across the state of all those needing access to mental health.”


BHA is also proud to support several programs intended to meet people where they are on their mental health journey and provide immediate support. These programs cater to Colorado’s demographics, including individuals with substance use disorders, youth, parents, and veterans.


Find a list of mental health resources and their descriptions, below:


Colorado Crisis Services

Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential and immediate support from trained professionals and peer specialists, available 24/7/365 by calling 844-493-TALK (8255), or texting TALK to 38255. Colorado residents can also seek services in-person at CCS walk-in centers, regardless of ability to pay. If you don’t know where to begin getting help with a mental health, substance use or emotional concern—for you, or for someone you know—start here. Visit for more information.



OwnPath is a searchable online directory that allows people in Colorado to find licensed behavioral health providers, search for specific services, or use a guided search to identify providers or resources that best meet their needs. Searches can be narrowed by criteria such as location, days of operation, language support, payment types accepted, and more. Visit to find the right behavioral health services for you.


I Matter

I Matter connects youth 18 years of age and younger (21 years or younger if receiving special education services) with a therapist for up to 6 free and confidential counseling sessions. Visit to find a therapist and schedule an appointment.


Next Chapter

At Next Chapter, Veteran leaders, healthcare professionals, and community partners join in a collaborative team initiative to deliver the best support for the variety of challenges, including behavioral health challenges Veterans and their families face as they write their next chapter. Visit for more information about the services and resources it can provide. *Only available in El Paso County.


Tough as a Mother 

Tough as a Mother connects pregnant and parenting people to treatment services and recovery support in their communities. The campaign is candid and compassionate about the pressures of parenthood and speaks to the strength of mothers to overcome challenges, including a substance use disorder. Learn more about how Tough as a Mother can support you at


Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT)

CRAFT is a free resource that supports the family members and friends of people struggling with addiction, also known as a substance use disorder. Learn more about how CRAFT can support you at


Recovery Cards Project 

Recovery Cards Project shares free cards designed to celebrate recovery, the efforts of those working to achieve it, and the people who support and encourage them every day. The cards are available in both physical and digital form. Visit to place and order and learn more.



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 at @BHAConnect.