$9 million in funding awarded to expand local behavioral health programs

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DENVER (Dec. 30, 2021) — The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) announced today $9 million in funding awarded to county departments of human or social services across the state. The funding is for the expansion or improvement of local or regional behavioral health disorder treatment programs.

Eighteen proposals were awarded funding, ranging from $90,640 to $1,080,984, through a competitive application process. The county behavioral health grant program was established through Senate Bill 21-137 to provide grants to counties for purposes including peer training; augmentation of direct therapy; acute treatment units; inpatient treatment programs; outreach and education; navigation or care coordination; capital investments in the behavioral health infrastructure; services for individuals for who do not speak English; culturally responsive and attuned services; suicide prevention and intervention; crisis response; workforce development; supporting regional service delivery; or other purposes that would expand behavioral health programs. Counties had to provide either matching funding or in-kind resources, or they had to submit a plan for regional collaboration between no fewer than three counties to be eligible for the grant program.

“We are glad to put this funding into the hands of counties to invest in their communities,” said Robert Werthwein, Office of Behavioral Health director. “Colorado’s behavioral health system is undergoing a transformation, thanks to leadership by Governor Polis and partners statewide, and expanding services to Coloradans is a key part of that reform effort.”

The $9 million in funding came from the American Rescue Plan Act and can be spent through June 30, 2023, per statute. Applicants were required to have a sustainability plan for how services will continue beyond the grant period. If the grant money is to be used for capital projects, applicants demonstrated how they would continue those services past the grant cycle for at least an additional five years. 

The counties received their notice of intent to award letters from CDHS today. Contracts for the funding will be executed in early 2022.

The following counties or groups of counties received awards. The awardees are grouped by the Colorado Human Services Directors Association regions:


Garfield County Department of Human Services 

  • Award amount: $700,356
  • Project: Build a social withdrawal management facility with case management and ongoing treatment in Glenwood Springs.

Summit County Department of Human Services 

  • Award amount: $869,825
  • Project: Provide start-up funds needed to (1) stabilize staffing in the existing withdrawal management program, (2) enhance access to high-quality outpatient behavioral health treatment, and (3) start an intensive community treatment team for people with severe mental health and/or substance use disorders.

Dolores County Social Services Collaboration (Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata and San Juan counties)

  • Award amount: $650,790
  • Project: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata and San Juan counties will expand and improve behavioral health services by providing supportive services access to families, and training opportunities to staff and community members.

Mesa County Department of Human Services 

  • Award amount: $392,787
  • Project: Develop Community-Based Intensive Case Management services, serving adults with serious behavioral health disorders who are at risk of a more intensive 24-hour placement and who need extra support to live in the community. Services include assessment, care plan development, multi-system referrals, assistance with wraparound and supportive living services, monitoring and follow-up. The program will prevent re-hospitalizations and incarceration that often occurs when individuals are unable to get the treatment they need to stabilize themselves and live independently.

San Miguel County Department of Social Services 

  • Award amount: $998,062
  • Project: Provide financial and housing incentives to a licensed behavioral health clinician to deliver services to non-English speaking children and adults within the region. The clinician will be bilingual in Spanish and English and have a deep-rooted understanding of Latinx culture. 
San Luis Valley

Rio Grande County Department of Social Services Collaboration (Alamosa, Rio Grande, Saguache, Costilla, Conejos and Mineral)

  • Award amount: $150,000
  • Project: Expand and support the continuation of the SafeCare Colorado behavioral health service program in the San Luis Valley. 

Fremont County Department of Human Services Collaboration (Fremont, Chaffee, Custer, Lake and Park) 

  • Award amount: $645,025
  • Project: Support capital expense costs for the Solvista Health Crisis Regional Assessment Center (Solvista RAC). The Solvista RAC will provide new and highly coordinated acute behavioral healthcare services for individuals requiring a higher level of care than can be managed solely with existing mobile crisis response and community-based, intensive outpatient treatment. The Solvista RAC will be a resource available to a broad swath of southern Colorado, but specifically target Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Lake, Park and surrounding rural and frontier counties. 

Prowers County Department of Human Services

  • Award amount: $149,995
  • Project: Provide co-pay assistance to community members unable to afford co-pays for inpatient treatment or ongoing therapy, fund art-based therapy program to be coordinated by Prowers County Public Health & Environment, support for the Good Grief/Child Life Specialist position to conduct outreach, education and navigation, and to increase access to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy treatment provided by Prowers County Department of Human Services staff.

Teller County Government Department of Human Services

  • Award amount: $90,640
  • Project: Expand and implement more targeted coordination with behavioral health services and support through the expansion of the Individualized Service and Support Team (ISST) Program to serve children and youth experiencing stress, anxiety and/or social isolation. These funds will help continue the last phase of the Communities that Care (CTC) process with a trained facilitator and utilize identified local risk and protective factors to inform ongoing prevention efforts in Teller County.

Kit Carson County Human Services

  • Award amount: $202,235
  • Project: Expand upon their current program of an in-house behavioral health provider to be able to provide services where the clients are and that are more responsive to families’ needs. Kit Carson County will be able to serve around 20-25 more families. To provide high-quality services and ones that will increase the long-term sustainability of the program, therapists will be trained in either Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) or Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). 

Logan County Department of Human Services

  • Award amount: $332,500
  • Project: Fund suicide prevention and intervention, peer training, outreach and education, and workforce development. The two-pronged, continuum of care approach will provide prevention and identification outreach to the rural schools of Logan County, consisting of Peetz, Merino and Fleming. Once higher-risk students and adults are identified, they will have access to counseling and crisis interventions along with substance use and family services in Sterling and all of Logan County.

Morgan/Washington/Yuma Counties of Human Services Collaboration

  • Award amount: $846,938
  • Project: Funding will be used to renovate a building in Brush that would expand behavioral health services in Morgan, Washington and Yuma counties. This project will allow for the expansion of Trauma-Informed and Sensitive Care Therapy in the Northeast.

Northeast Counties (Kit Carson, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Morgan, Washington, Yuma, Elbert, Lincoln and Cheyenne county departments of human services)

  • Award amount: $1,080,984
  • Project: Create the first Multisystemic Therapy (MST) team in the Northeast region and add two Functional Family Therapy (FFT) clinicians dedicated to these counties. MST and FFT are two of the evidence-based services included in Colorado’s mental health service array that are eligible for Family First Prevention Services Act prevention reimbursement. Adding access to these services for families in the Northeast will address one of the biggest behavioral health continuum of care gaps in the region — intensive in-home support for youth at risk of out-of-home placement, recidivism or further penetration into systems due to behaviors. 
Metro area

Boulder County Housing and Human Services

  • Award amount: $244,817
  • Project: Expand the workforce by adding two behavioral health service navigators to assist individuals and families in successfully accessing behavioral health services in a timely manner through responsive navigation and care coordination services. The navigators will focus on those at-risk or actively involved with the criminal justice system who have identified behavioral health needs, and pregnant and postpartum mothers who present with needs in the hospital or during a home visit, and families at-risk of child welfare involvement as identified by community service providers and caseworkers.

Broomfield Department of Human Services 

  • Award amount: $556,500
  • Project: Provide financial incentives to help hire and retain critical staff to provide behavioral health services in the county. These incentives include retention bonuses, financial support for housing and childcare, tuition reimbursement, and high-level training and certification support. The ultimate goal is to build the expertise of the workforce that will in turn enhance community resiliency.

Douglas County Department of Human Services 

  • Award amount: $236,801
  • Project: Will expand the workforce with the addition of a dedicated case manager and peer recovery coach to increase capacity to coordinate person-centered care for one of the most difficult and costly populations to manage and support. The program will focus on those with serious mental illness, substance use disorder, and intellectual development disorders who are high risk and high need, particularly those on an outpatient mental health certification, court-ordered hold, individuals with high utilization of crisis and emergency systems due to behavioral health needs, or those transitioning from an inpatient setting into the community. 

Jefferson County Human Services 

  • Award amount: $171,580
  • Project: Expand regional suicide prevention and coordination and training in Jefferson County. This funding will also enhance current tuition reimbursement programs and include licensure support as a recognition that supporting the needs of the behavioral health workforce should include valuable means of decreasing debt and encouragement of professional growth and training.

Weld County Department of Human Services 

  • Award amount: $680,165
  • Project: Establish a High Fidelity Wraparound team that will be available to children and families throughout Weld County who have complex behavioral/mental health needs and who may be involved with or need access to a variety of systems, such as out-of-home placement, the Regional Accountable Entity, special education services, Medicaid waivers such as Children’s Habilitation Residential Program and Children’s Extensive Support, Community Centered Boards, the juvenile justice system or local community mental health.  

Media contact:
Jordan Johnson
Interim Deputy Director of Communications