Colorado to spend $500M on mental health in largest investment ever

Colorado state legislators passed an almost $500 million package of mostly bipartisan mental health bills, Colorado Public Radio reported May 26.

The package is the largest single-year investment lawmakers have ever put into behavioral health, the report said. Most of the money comes from federal COVID-19 relief funds. Gov. Jared Polis has signed or is expected to sign the package's constituent bills into law. 

Among the package's bills are measures to:

1. Add capacity for youth and adult mental health patients who need full time residential treatment;

2. Streamline behavioral health administration and increase transparency;

3. Improve services for those in the justice system;

4. Divert people with behavioral health problems into treatment instead of jail;

5. Increase funding for youth, families and schools;

6. Bolster the behavioral health workforce;

7. And provide grants to providers to address gaps in the system.

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