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Mental Health Transitional Living Homes

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Two photos: 1) Exterior photo of a row of houses; 2) A woman with her hand on the shoulder of a man

Mental Health Transitional Living (MHTL) Homes are part of a new program that will provide an added layer of services within the Colorado Department of Human Services' behavioral health continuum of care. These homes, which are run by the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health, will be used as a transition to a less restrictive setting for individuals with severe mental health conditions. Clients may stay as long as necessary for stabilization with an ultimate goal of reintegrating clients successfully in the community. The focus is to provide continued support with social and life skills development, as well as assistance with other daily life activities based on the client’s individual needs.

Levels of care

Transitional living: This level of care is geared toward supporting an individual's transition to full independence. These supports include an intensive case manager, social and recreational activities, such as yoga and meditation, resume building, attending appointments, and support with activities of daily living, such as taking medications, cleaning, laundry, and more. Mental health transitional living homes will support discharge planning with the goal of community reintegration.

Supported therapeutic transitional living: These homes provide whole-person care. This will include in-home clinical services, intensive case management services, and a prescriber to oversee ongoing medication management. These services are geared toward individuals who may need more prompting and support. This level of care may also include increased staffing patterns to provide care and services to individuals.

Timeline

The Mental Health Transitional Living Homes will be opening on a rolling basis.

Contracted homes

  • Sequoia Cares Partners: The first home opened in September 2023 and the second home opened in November 2023 for a total of 28 beds. The remaining two homes will open by spring of 2024. The homes will be located in Littleton, Lakewood and Northglenn.
  • Embark, PCA: 8 beds will be opening in the winter of 2024 in Colorado Springs. 
  • Monarch: 12 beds will be opening in 2024 in Lakewood. 
  • Ananeo: 20 beds will be opening in 2024 in Denver.

State-run homes

  • 24 beds across three homes will be opening in 2024. These homes will be located in Westminster and Pueblo. 

Resources

Admissions/Referrals

While the MHTL Homes program is building up bed capacity and staffing, the program will be limiting admissions to referrals from the state’s mental health hospitals only for the initial rollout of the program. While it is a long-term goal for the homes to be able to admit individuals from the community, the primary goal is to alleviate the waitlist for the mental health hospitals by stepping down the individuals who have been awaiting appropriate community based resources. As the homes start to accept referrals from the community, this webpage will be updated. 

MHTL placement criteria
Level 1 — Transitional Living

Responsible for daily living with regular support such as medication dispensation, ongoing minimal therapeutic activities, and regularly scheduled daily activities, and an emphasis on ADL support. Such programming is geared towards supporting the individual's engagement and work towards full independence.

Inclusionary CriteriaExclusionary Criteria
Age 18 or olderMajor medical conditions that require ongoing 24/7 nursing care
Diagnosis of Serious Mental Illness (SMI) consistent with DSM (most current version) criteria, which requires and can reasonably be expected to respond to therapeutic interventionsPrimary problem is social, legal, economic, or one of physical health without a concurrent mental health diagnosis or admission is being used as an alternative to incarceration
Individual is unable to be treated outside of a supervised 24-hour transition living environmentBehavioral problems that may require restraint, seclusion, and/or a locked facility
Demonstrates a need for continued medication managementSubstance use which requires detoxification and/or inpatient services for stabilization.
Individuals require 24/7 care to develop skills necessary for daily living to assist with successful reintegration into lower level services (i.e. - outpatient) and/or into the community where the focus is working towards full independence.Individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) that do not have a co-occurring SMI
Individual's current/proposed living environment does not provide the support and access to therapeutic services needed 
Does not exhibit chronic inappropriate behavior which disrupts the activities of the home and/or is harmful to self or others 
Individual is able to function with some independence and participate in community-based activities for limited periods of time that are structured to develop skills for functioning outside of a more controlled residential environment 
Potential risk of harm to self or others, aggressive behaviors may have occurred in their life, but no less than 6 months ago 
History of substance use disorder, but no use of such substances within the last 3 months and/or no active current substance use and/or not at high risk of relapse. 

 

Level 2 — Supported Therapeutic Transitional Living

Coordinated whole person care to include daily social and life skills activities/ training, therapeutic services, group activities, medication dispensation. Programmatic services are geared for those needing more hands-on care due to continued management of severe mental illness. Services include medication management and dispensation, daily living, social, and life skills activities, therapeutic services, support with ADL’s, etc. May also require enhanced supervision to ensure safety, which may include, but is not limited to, increased staffing patterns and delayed egress systems.

Inclusionary CriteriaExclusionary Criteria*
Age 18 or olderMajor medical conditions that require ongoing 24/7
nursing care
Diagnosis of Serious Mental Illness (SMI) consistent with DSM (most current version) criteria, which requires and can reasonably be expected to respond to therapeutic interventionsPrimary problem is social, legal, economic, or one of physical health without a concurrent mental health diagnosis or admission is being used as an alternative to incarceration
Individual is unable to be treated outside of a supervised 24-hour transition living environmentBehavioral problems that may require restraint, seclusion, and/or a locked facility
Demonstrates a need for ongoing medication, psychiatric, and behavior management supportSubstance use which requires detoxification and/or inpatient services for stabilization.
Individual requires 24/7 care to develop skills necessary for daily living, where the focus is on continued treatment services, to assist with successful reintegration into lower level services, community based services and/or full independenceIndividuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) that do not have a co-occurring SMI
Individual's current/proposed living environment does not provide the support and access to therapeutic services needed 
Individual presents with behavioral concerns, which may include aggressive, assaultive, sexualized behaviors, history or pattern of elopement, etc. that can be adequately managed within the care setting 
Individuals require residential supervision and active support to ensure the adequate, effective coping skills necessary to live safely in the community, participate in self-care and treatment. Supervision may be enhanced based on the needs of the individual (i.e. - constant staff supervision, planned structured activities, delayed egress, etc). 
Potential risk of harm to self or others, aggressive behaviors may have occurred in their life and within the past 3 months 
May require continued outpatient short-term or extended short-term certification pursuant to C.R.S. 27-65-107 or 108 and long-term pursuant to C.R.S. 27-65-109 
History of substance use disorder 

*Not to be used as Exclusion Criteria: high risk, high profile behaviors, which include sexualized, aggressive, and/or assaultive behaviors, elopement, criminal history

Contact information

Bonnie Wright
Division Director, Mental Health Transitional Living Homes
bonnie.wright@state.co.us

For general questions, email cdhs_transitional.livinghomes@state.co.us or call 303.866.5170.

For questions regarding the referral and admissions process, contact the Admissions and Coordination team:
Lindsay Lucas and RaeAnna Sporrer
cdhs_admissions.mhtl@state.co.us