A Word about Crisis Response Services on the Western Slope
News about recent changes to the way that crisis response services are funded and delivered on the Western Slope have raised some questions. We hope this will provide some answers.
How does Colorado provide crisis response services?
The Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health contracts with seventeen Community Mental Health Centers, including Mind Springs Health, for the provision of mental health treatment and emergency services to individuals and families who are low income or not covered by insurance throughout Colorado. Following the Aurora Theatre shooting in 2012, the state added funding specifically targeted to mobile crisis response, respite, and walk in centers.
In 2014, the State of Colorado created a state-wide crisis services program. The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health contracted West Slope Casa, the Managed Service Organization for the western slope, to provide western slope crisis response services including a 24-7 walk-in crisis center in Grand Junction, respite services and mobile crisis response. West Slope Casa engaged Mind Springs Health to operate those crisis services across the 10-county area that Mind Springs Health serves.
What has recently changed?
When it was time to renew the contracts in 2017, the State of Colorado decided to realign responsibilities, regions and funding for behavioral health crisis services. As a result, the 10-county area served by Mind Springs Health is now part of a 22-county ‘Region 1’ area. Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP) was named local crisis services contractor for Region 1 effective July 1, 2019.
How will this change impact people in crisis?
Impacting Mesa County the most, the Western Slope walk-in crisis center will now be located in Montrose instead of Grand Junction. Crisis response services will remain the same everywhere and are now accessed through a new crisis services phone number.
Although the way in which mental health crisis services are administered and funded by the State of Colorado may have changed, Mind Springs Health will continue to care for the communities we serve. Our goal remains to make sure that people on the Western Slope get access to the high quality behavioral health care they deserve.
What does the community need to know?
Mind Springs Health is the largest provider of mental health and addiction services on Colorado’s Western Slope. We will continue providing a full continuum of care, offering counseling and treatment for individuals, families, couples and group programs for all ages. West Springs Hospital will continue to provide psychiatric hospitalization for all those in need of that level of psychiatric services.