Colorado's involuntary mental health treatment system explained

 

 

Colorado's system of care and involuntary treatment for mental health is established in Colorado statute (Title 27, Article 65, C.R.S., commonly referred to as "27-65"), and further defined in OBH rule (Volume 2 CCR 502-1). This resource offers guidance on navigating the laws and rules on mental health care and involuntary treatment in our state. If you or a loved one is in need of immediate help for a behavioral health crisis, contact Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255.

In Colorado, individuals may access mental health care and involuntary treatment in multiple ways, but all mental health care and treatment services must:

  • Maintain a person's dignity and integrity,
  • Be provided in a restrictive setting only when less restrictive setting are unavailable and when safety is endangered,
  • Protect people's privacy, dignity, and other rights,
  • Encourage the use of voluntary services,
  • Inform and encourage family involvement when appropriate, and,
  • Facilitate the recovery and resiliency of each person.

Laws, Rules and Guidance on Mental Health Care and Involuntary Treatment in Colorado

This section provides a breakdown of C.R.S. 27-65 and OBH rule as well as the OBH 27-65 Procedure Manual to assist in locating relevant sections of statute and regulation.

27-65 Statutes

Access C.R.S. 27-65 Statutes

27-65 Statute Breakdown
27-65 Statute Breakdown
C.R.S. 27-65-101 Legislative declaration
C.R.S. 27-65-102 Definitions
C.R.S. 27-65-103 Voluntary applications for mental health services - treatment of minors
C.R.S. 27-65-104 Rights of respondents
C.R.S. 27-65-105 Emergency Procedure
C.R.S. 27-65-106 Court-ordered evaluation for persons with mental health disorders
C.R.S. 27-65-107 Certification for short-term treatment - procedure
C.R.S. 27-65-108 Extension of short-term treatment
C.R.S. 27-65-109 Long-term care and treatment of persons with mental health disorders - procedure
C.R.S. 27-65-110 Termination of short-term and long-term treatment - escape
C.R.S. 27-65-111 Hearing procedures - jurisdiction
C.R.S. 27-65-112 Appeals
C.R.S. 27-65-113 Habeas corpus
C.R.S. 27-65-114 Restoration of rights
C.R.S. 27-65-115 Discrimination
C.R.S. 27-65-116 Right to treatment
C.R.S. 27-65-117 Rights of persons receiving evaluation, care, or treatment
C.R.S. 27-65-118 Administration or monitoring of medications to persons receiving care
C.R.S. 27-65-119 Employment of persons in a facility - rules
C.R.S. 27-65-120 Voting in public elections
C.R.S. 27-65-121 Records
C.R.S. 27-65-122 Request for release of information - procedures - review of a decision concerning
release of information
C.R.S. 27-65-123 Treatment in federal facilities
C.R.S. 27-65-124 Transfer of persons into and out of Colorado - reciprocal agreements
C.R.S. 27-65-125 Criminal proceedings
C.R.S. 27-65-126 Application of this article
C.R.S. 27-65-127 Imposition of legal disability - deprivation of legal right - restoration
C.R.S. 27-65-128 Administration - rules
C.R.S. 27-65-129 Payment for counsel
C.R.S. 27-65-130 Mental health service standards for health care facilities
C.R.S. 27-65-131 Advisory board - service standards and rules
27-65 Rules

Explanation of 27-65 Rules (for designated facilities)

The Office of Behavioral Health Rule Volume 2 CCR 502-1 provides detailed regulatory requirements for mental health services provided on a voluntary basis and an involuntary basis for those providers that are designated by the Office of Behavioral Health. While Title 27, Article 65, C.R.S. provides for the establishment of mental health service provision for any person seeking services on a voluntary basis and establishes provisions for the administration for mental health service provision on an involuntary basis, the OBH rules are only written and enforced with regard to designated facilities. A designated facility is a facility approved by OBH pursuant to the provisions of the Care and Treatment of Persons with Mental Health Disorders. OBH is charged with ensuring that the procedures set forth in both statute and regulation are carried out in a manner that is in accordance with the law, and that all persons treated under this law in relation to a designation are afforded the rights given them by law. If those rights are restricted, all laws and procedures are followed in order to uphold the civil rights of those individuals.

Access Office of Behavioral Health Rule Volume 2 CCR 502-1

 

Section 21.280 Breakdown
Section 21.2180 Breakdown
21.280.1 Definitions
21.280.2 Facility Organizational Provisions
21.280.3 Medical and Medication Treatment Provisions
21.280.4 Seclusion and Restraint Provisions
21.280.5 Therapy or Treatment Using Special Procedures
21.280.6 Continuity of Care
21.280.7 Transfer of Care and Transportation
21.280.8 Certification for Treatment of an Outpatient Basis
21.280.9 Documentation in Individual Records
27-65 Procedure Manual

The Office of Behavioral Health(OBH) 27-65 Procedure Manual was developed and designed to assist designated facilities in meeting the requirements of Title 27, Article 65, C.R.S. and OBH Rule Volume 2 CCR 502-1. The manual is a complementary guide to be used in conjunction with the Behavioral Health rules and regulations. The manual provides information that is covered in statute and provides practical guidance to facilities in establishing and carrying out procedures when providing care and treatment to persons with a mental health disorder.

Access the OBH27-65 Procedure Manual
Access the OBH27-65Procedure Manual Appendix
Access the M-0.5 Form (Involuntary Transportation)
Access the MForms

Office of Behavioral Health Responsibilities

The Office of Behavioral Health, in the Department of Human Services, is responsible for:

  • Creating rules that govern mental health services in Colorado, including voluntary and involuntary services,
  • Designating facilities to provide mental health care and treatment,
  • Monitor providers to ensure mental health care and treatment is provided in compliance with state laws and rules,
  • Collecting and evaluating data regarding mental health care and treatment service delivery,
  • Providing training and technical assistance on the statutes and rules governing mental health care and treatment, including voluntary and involuntary process.
Colorado Revised Statutes Part 101 of Article 65 of Title 27

Additional Resources