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Bill to establish Behavioral Health Administration signed into law

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DENVER (May 25, 2022) — The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) bill (House Bill 22-1278) was signed into law today, officially establishing the duties of the BHA, set to launch on July 1, 2022. The BHA is a new state agency tasked with transforming mental health care and substance use treatment in Colorado. 

“The signing of this bill marks a historical shift in the way Coloradans will experience and receive behavioral health care, improving access for all. The passage is timely, as we are in a widespread mental health crisis,” said Dr. Morgan Medlock, Behavioral Health Administration commissioner.

Groundbreaking initiatives to be developed under the BHA include the implementation of provider performance dashboards for patients to review prior to service, universal contract provisions for all behavioral health providers to ensure accountability and consistency of practices, and a safety net system ensuring all Coloradans have access to services, regardless of insurance.

In addition, the BHA is forming a BHA Advisory Council (BHAAC), inviting Coloradans with lived behavioral health experience to co-create and inform the BHA’s vision and strategic plan. The BHAAC will ensure there is public accountability and transparency through reviewing the BHA's public-facing transparency activities, including the BHA's data dashboards.

“There is value in meeting people where they are, in the neighborhoods the BHA serves, and learning from them. I invite Coloradans with behavioral health lived experiences to serve alongside me, providing recommendations and community solutions,” said Dr. Medlock.

The BHA is committed to BHAAC membership that is reflective of the demographic and geographic populations of Colorado to ensure ongoing stakeholder input and involvement. Commissioner Medlock will appoint 15 to 20 members from the applications received, while ensuring a majority of BHAAC membership are individuals with lived behavioral health experience or families of individuals with lived behavioral health experience. BHAAC members will be paid an annual stipend for their participation and all associated costs pertaining to BHAAC will be covered.

The BHAAC application form is live and accepting submissions until June 11. 

With more than 1 million Coloradans in need of behavioral health services, the BHA will strengthen our system — from prevention to recovery and beyond. The BHA represents one of Colorado’s many steps towards strategic investments in improving the behavioral health system in the state. It will take time to address the myriad challenges in our current system; however, the BHA will be instrumental in achieving the vision to have a comprehensive, equitable, accessible, affordable and effective continuum of behavioral health services that meets the needs of all Coloradans in the right place, at the right time, to achieve whole person health and wellbeing. 

The BHA thanks state Reps. Rod Pelton and Mary Young and state Sens. Pete Lee and Cleave Simpson for their sponsorship of this bill, helping turn the vision of an improved behavioral health system into reality.


For help with any mental health, substance use or emotional concern, call Colorado Crisis Services at 844- 493-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 38255. Our trained professionals provide free, immediate, and confidential help, 24/7/365. Everyone deserves someone who will listen and care, including you and your loved ones. Learn more at

Media contact:
Maureen Maycheco
BHA Director of Communications