CDHS opens new mental hospital wing to serve competency patients

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DENVER (Dec. 5, 2022) — The Colorado Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) hosted a grand opening event today for a new wing at the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Fort Logan (CMHHIFL). This new wing will serve Coloradans in need of competency restoration services to proceed in criminal trials. 

The new wing was funded through the General Assembly in FY 2020-21 and construction was completed in October. This marks the first time the hospital will provide care for competency patients, which has historically been the role of the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo or outpatient programs in the community.

“The state has been focused on expanding services for Coloradans in need of competency services for years now,” said Michelle Barnes, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services. “This new unit is one important step of many we are taking toward eliminating the waitlist.”

Pre-trial defendants in need of competency restoration services outnumber the amount of bed space in Colorado available to provide those services. The 22 beds in the new unit will help cut down on the waitlist, which is currently over 400 people long. Admissions will start Dec. 6.

Competency is a legal concept that refers to an individual’s current capacity to function meaningfully and knowingly in a legal proceeding. 

“This is a historic moment for Fort Logan,” said OCFMH Director Leora Joseph. “Bed space has long been a problem in Colorado, and we are using every tool at our disposal to increase our capacity to serve Coloradans.”

The Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Fort Logan is one of two state psychiatric hospitals serving Colorado residents with acute mental illnesses and/or court-ordered inpatient restoration treatment. 

Media contact:
Jordan Johnson
Manager of Communications