2019 Report to the Community
2019 Report to the Community
We are excited to share with YOU – our donors, community partners and friends – Mental Health Center of Denver statistics, expressions of appreciation to our supporters, and community impact stories to keep you informed.
Clinical Case Manager Katie Healy Cox delivers medication to people we serve.
Clinical Case Manager Katie Healy Cox delivers medication to people we serve.
Mental Health Clinicians Partner with Denver Police
The Today Show covered the Supported Team Assisted Response (STAR) program, an initiative in which mental health professionals from our organization partner with paramedics to respond to 911 calls that are low-risk.
Ramping Up Mobile Outreach & Services in a Time of Uncertainty
The pharmacy team wears masks and practices physical distancing outside of the Recovery Cetner.
Meeting people where they are has taken on a new meaning in the time of COVID-19. As many people served by the Mental Health Center of Denver and the community went into quarantine for COVID-19, the Mental Health Center of Denver switched most of its services to virtual delivery. This presented new challenges to provide services that must be in-person, such as long-acting injectable prescriptions.
The organization’s Nursing, Pharmacy and Strategic Community Partnerships Teams came together to brainstorm solutions to deliver these injections in the safest way possible. Although the Mental Health Center of Denver has plans underway for a new mobile program, that vehicle was not yet ready for use.
An opportunity emerged to partner with the City and County of Denver’s Wellness Winnie, an RV launched in February 2020 that provides behavioral health and support services throughout Denver. The City and Mental Health Center of Denver mobilized quickly so that nurses could go out on the Wellness Winnie to deliver the injectable prescriptions safely in the neighborhoods of people served. Although the City soon had to shift the use of the Wellness Winnie for COVID-19 testing, this joint effort deepened relationships with the City and created important learning to inform future mobile services. In the meantime, the Nursing team continues to find creative ways to provide injection prescriptions safely; as of the end of June they delivered approximately 1,300 injections at the Recovery Center and nearly 200 injections in the community.
As the Mental Health Center of Denver continues to navigate changes and uncertainty, the organization is ramping up capacity to increase community access through mobile services in the ways that the community wants them. The new mobile program set to launch this Fall will be a flexible space to engage with the community and offer a variety of well-being and mental health services.
Our Response to COVID-19
The Mental Health Center of Denver began providing remote services March 16, 2020, due to COVID-19. Since then, we have altered our operations to ensure the people we serve continue to get what they need. We plan to continue providing remote services through September 20, 2020.
Below are a few highlights from our organization's response to COVID-19:
- Our donors provided approximately 150 tech devices for people we serve to access telehealth services.
- The pharmacy has performed more than 200 COVID-19 tests and delivered approximately 11,200 prescriptions since March 16, with the assistance of case managers.
- The Adult Resource Center has delivered more than 4,600 emergency food boxes.
- We launched Well-Being LIVE, a virtual series of free events led by our experts on a wide range of topics related to well-being, from meditation and nutrition to self-care and parenting tools.
- Resources, such as self-care tips, a guided meditation from President & CEO Dr. Carl Clark and suggestions for talking to your children about COVID-19 are available on our COVID-19 webpage.
Employee Hardship Fund
An exciting new initiative to be born out of COVID-19 is the Mental Health Center of Denver Employee Hardship Fund.
Established as a separate tax-exempt nonprofit organization, its purpose is to serve as an employer-sponsored relief fund for current and future employees experiencing financial hardships. Eligible employees are part-time and full-time regular status employees who have been with the organization for at least one year. The maximum grant award is $1,000 and an individual may not receive more than three grants during their tenure with the organization.
The recently formed board of the Employee Hardship Fund is working to finalize the grant application process and those details will be announced shortly. Mental Health Center of Denver will provide administrative and operating support to the Fund.
Employees will have an opportunity to contribute to the Employee Hardship Fund as part of the Give.Go.Grow employee giving campaign. The Mental Health Center of Denver will match 100% of employee contributions. Non-employee donations may also be made to the Employee Hardship Fund.
Denver Post Top Workplace Award
The Mental Health Center of Denver has been named a Top Workplace by the Denver Post eight years in a row! We believe that people are resilient - they can and do recover from mental illness. At the Mental Health Center of Denver, we hire people dedicated to working toward that goal.
Emerson St. Keeps Young People Engaged & Enriched
During recent months, weekly well-being groups at Emerson St. for Teens & Young Adults have met virtually. The staff at Emerson St. for Teens & Young Adults has creatively adapted to the current physical distancing demands by bringing tactile enrichment groups to them. Because groups that do arts, crafts and cooking, for example, require specific items for all participants to use, the Emerson St. staff has put together boxes of these items and delivered them to the young people’s homes prior to these groups. This allows them to participate at home while engaging with others in the group through video meetings.
Some virtual groups can be done without tangible items, such as exercise, discussion or mindfulness groups. All of these weekly groups are vital to keeping the young people we serve involved. One of the young people we serve said, “I wish I could see people in person, but this is a good alternative. I don't have to leave these groups an hour early to go to work, so I can stay for the whole time."
Once per month, groups will now be meeting in person, physically distanced, on the front lawn of Emerson St. for arts and crafts, games or discussion groups. This is important for the young people we serve who find it difficult to engage with one another virtually, who may be experiencing homelessness, or who do not have the technology required to participate in virtual groups.
Enrichment, engagement and enjoyment are the goals for these prevention-level groups that introduce some to Emerson St. and enhance the clinical experience of others. These groups have been a great way for some young people to learn more about the Mental Health Center of Denver and the clinical services they can receive at Emerson St. Young people tend to feel more comfortable receiving therapeutic services in an environment that is familiar and fun. For the age group served by Emerson St. – 15-26 years of age – this wholistic model of treatment has been very successful. In fact, other community organizations such as Urban Peak and Mile High Youth Corps have partnered with Emerson St. so that the young people they serve may also benefit from its services and utilize the expertise of Emerson St.’s staff.
By making a gift to Emerson St. for Teens & Young Adults, you are helping to ensure that these groups are sustained through this time of physical distancing and that the young people we serve remain involved and engaged. Financial contributions to Emerson St. also ensure that the staff can be flexible and creative with the materials they need to purchase to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
Make a gift to Emerson St. for Teens & Young Adults.
Gifts of Joy Holiday Gift Drive
"The cost of living has affected a lot of areas. Thank you all for doing this. I wasn't sure how I was going to pull off Christmas this year."
-A Person We Serve
We'd like to thank our donors, community partners, sponsors and staff for helping to make the holidays special for those we serve.
People We Served | July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019
The Mental Health Center of Denver provided treatment, prevention and crisis services to 21,458 unique individuals. We provided an additional 73,108 outreach services at early learning centers, schools and more.
Race* & Ethnicity**
*Does not include “declined to answer” or “unknown” race. **People we serve who identify as Hispanic/Latinx may belong to any race.
Lifting Up Community Voices to Impact Change
Nancy Lugo’s passion for childhood caregiving and education led her to the Mental Health Center of Denver in 2018, when she joined the Providers Advancing School Outcomes (PASO) Program. PASO is a community-based intensive training program for early childhood caregivers seeking to close the achievement gap for Hispanic/Latinx children.
Just a few months after graduating with honors from PASO, Nancy got the opportunity to take her leadership to the next level. She represented the Mental Health Center of Denver at the 2019 Aspen ThinkXChange alongside her husband Jesus, their baby Leonardo and Michael Niyompong, Mental Health Center of Denver’s Vice President of Strategic Community Partnerships. The ThinkXChange event, hosted by the Aspen Institute, focused on advancing family success. It centered around the voices of those most impacted by family and work policies – parents like Nancy and Jesus.
“I have never attended an event so organized and valuable for the community,” Nancy said. “It was a great experience to explore community problems related to childhood education, which is so important because children are our future.”
By sharing their stories and bold ideas, parent leaders worked alongside organizational and policy leaders from across the country. Together, they strategized new ways to move families forward, specifically economically marginalized families.
“PASO provides countless tools to guide children’s learning and become a better childcare provider,” Nancy said. “It also helps families a lot economically to have the extra income, which leads to more opportunities.”
In addition to PASO, community members get involved with the Mental Health Center of Denver in many ways across the city. In the future, the Mental Health Center of Denver looks forward to expanding its role as a connector to ensure that community voices are centered in decisions that will impact their individual well-being and that of their family, city and society.
Financials | July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019
|Added to Reserves||$5,573,834|