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Introducing Colorado's new Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health

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DENVER (Sept. 22, 2022) — The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) announced that the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) is the new name for the former Office of Behavioral Health (OBH). This name change reflects renewed programmatic efforts and continuous person-first care that is evidence-based and trauma-informed. 

This name change aligns with the populations the office serves following the creation and separation of the Behavioral Health Administration. OCFMH employees have always worked hard and taken their duties seriously, and this new office name shows the emphasis CDHS is putting on decreasing the waitlist for inpatient competency restoration services and developing innovative programs and best practice models of care. The process heavily involved gathering input from on-the ground staff to find a name that makes sense, is easy to understand, and is descriptive of the work OCFMH does. 

Additionally, the names of the mental health institutes will be changed to mental health hospitals. CDHS is focused on helping people heal and reach their full potential through person-first and trauma-informed care. This shift represents that focus. The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo will now be named the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo (CMHHIP) and the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan will now be known as the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Fort Logan (CMHHIFL).

“This new name marks a new chapter for our office,” said Leora Joseph, director of OCFMH. “It’s important that our staff and partners feel as though their work is represented and respected. We will continue to rise to challenges together while providing excellent service to our patients. We plan to use the historic funding from the last legislative session to develop innovative solutions to problems that have plagued this office for years.”

OCFMH will continue to engage staff members as it develops a new mission, vision and values along with strategic priorities, informed by employees and stakeholders, for the next three to five years. 

The Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) provides strategy, implementation, oversight, monitoring and operation of two Colorado Mental Health Hospitals, the Forensic Services division, and the soon to be developed Behavioral Health Group Homes divisions and neuropsych facility for juveniles. 

Media contact:
Jordan Johnson
Communications Manager