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OCFMH celebrates five years of the outpatient competency restoration program

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DENVER (April 24, 2023) — The Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its Outpatient Restoration program. The statewide program is the largest outpatient competency restoration program in the nation. It has served more than 2,800 individuals since its inception with providers in every Colorado county.

Competency is a legal construct that refers to an individual’s current capacity to function meaningfully and knowingly in a legal proceeding. If individuals are found to be incompetent to proceed, they are referred to competency restoration treatment. Restoration treatment can happen in three settings: inpatient at a psychiatric hospital, in a jail-based restoration program or outpatient in the community. Outpatient restoration makes it possible for individuals to stay in their communities, maintain housing, remain connected to their natural support system and continue their employment while going through treatment. 

“The Outpatient Restoration Program is a shining example of how Colorado is leading the nation in innovation,” said Leora Joseph, director of OCFMH. “Five years ago, experts stood up a program that was rare at the time, and it has grown to be incredibly successful.”

The Outpatient Restoration Program was created as a result of SB17-012 with a budget to serve 268 individuals. That first year, the program served 590 individuals and has grown to contract with 49 provider entities spread across all 64 counties and 22 judicial districts in the state. There is no waitlist for these services, and the program has already served over 1,288 individuals this calendar year.

“The Outpatient Restoration program was created because we believe in a people-first system that provides treatment in the least-restrictive setting when appropriate,” said Kathryn Davis, who has served as director of the Outpatient Restoration Program since the beginning. “I am grateful to all our staff and providers who are committed to treating and restoring this vulnerable population.”

The program continues to expand and create innovative ways to serve this population, including the launch of a length-of-stay project, where a social worker will identify cases that have been in the program for over 300 days. They will work with providers to fill any gaps in needed services or support and advocate to resolve the case. The goal of this project is to lessen the time an individual is in restoration while working to get wrap-around services they need in place for long-term stability in the community.

The CDHS Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH) operates Colorado’s two mental health hospitals, the Forensic Services Division and the Division of Mental Health Transitional Living. The office provides a continuum of mental health care that includes pre-trial restoration services, inpatient hospitalization and, soon, transition homes for community-based care.

Media Contact:
Jordan Johnson
Communications Manager