Enriching Denver Spring 2019

Case Manager Receives 2nd Annual Mary Frances McMahon Award for Outstanding Clinical Service

Travis MFM 2019
Travis MFM 2019 2

Clinical Case Manger, Travis Timmerman, was awarded the Mary Frances McMahon Award for Outstanding Clinical Service at the Mental Health Center of Denver's All-Staff Meeting on May 22.

This award was created through an endowment by the family of a person we served (Mary Frances McMahon) who is grateful for the exceptional care that Mary received at the Mental Health Center of Denver. They created this award in Mary's memory to annually recognize a clinical service provider who goes above and beyond in caring for the people we serve every day.

Travis has been with the Mental Health Center of Denver for over 11 years and is deeply passionate about the work that he does. He is on the High-Intensity Treatment Team and truly meets the people he serves where they are and is committed to their well-being.

One person Travis serves said:

"He definitely does go out of his way to help people. He’s been helping me find housing and we’re still working on that. I really appreciate him.” - JD

Another said, He’s gone out of the way to try to help me. He helped me get my house. There’s a lot of homeless people in town and he really helped me. I just want to say thank you to him. He’s a 5-star.” - SM 

We are fortunate to have so many exceptional employees at the Mental Health Center of Denver, and Travis truly exemplifies the spirit of this award in the care he shows the people we serve.

To learn how to leave a legacy through planned giving or endowed funds, please contact Lauren Anderson, Development Officer.

Mental Health Center of Denver Named Top Workplace

For the 7th year in a row, the Mental Health Center of Denver has been named one of the Denver Post's 150 Top Workplaces.

The Mental Health Center of Denver ranks #14 out of 35 large companies (companies with 500 or more local workers).

Workplaces are nominated for this designation by their employees.


Click here to explore career opportunities and learn why the Mental Health Center of Denver is a workplace of choice.

Parents holding their child

SAMHSA Grant Funds Right Start for Colorado

This is an update to a previous article on Right Start for Colorado, published in the February edition of Enriching Denver.

The Mental Health Center of Denver was recently awarded a 5-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand infant and early childhood mental health services throughout Colorado with a new initiative, Right Start for Colorado.

“Young infants and toddlers are frequently overlooked in mental health policy and healthcare delivery systems,” said Dr. Shannon Bekman, Director of Right Start for Colorado.

To remedy this, $22 million was designated to create grants that support infant and early childhood mental health services at the community level. The Mental Health Center of Denver was one of nine organizations across the nation to receive a grant of $2.5 million with specific goals to:

  • Increase the access to, and quality of, infant and early childhood mental health services
  • Build a statewide workforce capacity for individuals serving children ages birth to 5 years

“Our goal is to create alignment among all different sectors and organizations working on behalf of infants and young children and provide some game-changing work that advances the infant mental health landscape in Colorado,” Dr. Bekman said. “We want to promote transformation in our workforce that can sustain itself once grant funding has ended.”

To help build a statewide infant and early childhood mental health workforce, Right Start for Colorado will train clinicians across the state on several evidence-based clinical treatments specific to very young children.

“And that’s only half the equation,” Dr. Bekman said. “We also plan to engage our allied providers who frequently work with young children, such as pediatricians, child welfare workers, first responders, home visitors and other community partners, with the goal of supporting those professionals to have an infant mental health lens.”

For example, we want the child welfare worker to know when and how to refer the infant on their caseload who is grieving the loss of his/her parent. We want the first responder who responds to a domestic violence call to hold the toddler in mind when arresting a parent. It is often thought that because of their young age, infants and toddlers are unaware of, or will not remember, these very scary experiences, and we know that not to be true.

In addition to the statewide workforce development, the grant has allowed the organization to expand its Right Start for Infant Mental Health team, which is managed by Dr. Michelle Roy. Dr. Roy has been able to grow her team to offer higher-intensity, home-based infant mental health services for families residing in Denver County.

Right Start for Infant Mental Health is a treatment program at Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being for children ages birth to five and their caregivers. The program was started in 2010 and has been expanding ever since. It offers clinical services when very young children are experiencing mental health challenges. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers can and do experience mental health issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD and other disorders. These may arise when a young child has experienced the loss of a primary caregiver (whether that be through death, incarceration, deportation or foster care placement) or other adverse experiences such as abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence or other traumatic experiences.

Infant mental health takes a 2-generation approach. Treating the infant and caregiver together can heal and stop the intergenerational transmission of trauma.

“There’s a saying in infant mental health that ‘earlier is easier,’” Dr. Bekman said. “The earlier intervention occurs, the better the long-term prognosis.”

Want to make an impact that can last a lifetime? Click here.

Writing the Story of Well-Being Innovation

SF 4.30 Panel

The speakers' conversation at our recent Speakers Forum


Click here to invest in well-being innovation at the Mental Health Center of Denver.

On April 30, we hosted our third Speakers Forum: Writing the Story of Well-Being Innovation, held at Catalyst HTI in Denver's RiNo neighborhood. The Mental Health Center of Denver is the first and only behavioral health provider to join Catalyst HTI, an industry integrator bringing together relevant stakeholders in a real estate ecosystem to create, develop, refine and bring to market cutting-edge innovations to transform healthcare.

The event featured the ways that technology and innovation can help people in our community gain access to treatment and well-being resources, and increase the efficacy of these treatments and resources.

An experiential reception allowed guests to try the latest in healthcare technology, from virtual reality to healthcare apps.

Panelists from across the healthcare and technology sectors then had a conversation, prompted by questions from the audience, about the ways that innovation plays a part in each person's well-being. 

Speakers included:

  • Carrie Paykoc, Director, Colorado Office of eHealth Innovation
  • Debbie Boeldt, PhD, National Mental Health Innovation Center
  • KP Yelpaala, Founder & CEO, access.mobile
  • Mike Biselli, Founder & CEO, Catalyst HTI
  • Carl Clark, MD, President & CEO, Mental Health Center of Denver
  • Wes Williams, PhD, VP & CIO, Mental Health Center of Denver


Save the Date: Gifts of Hope 2019


Our annual signature event, Gifts of Hope Fundraising Breakfast, will be held this year on Wednesday, October 16.

Please contact Lauren Anderson for more information about being a Table Host at this year's event.

Click the image to see highights from Gifts of Hope 2018.
Farm 2-2

Get Involved


Donate online or contact Lauren Anderson, Development Officer.


Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to see our current opportunities, or contact Amanda DeGruccio.


Click here to request a tour of one of our sites.


Board of Directors

Safe Space Logo

Ann Boyd
Cherwell Software
Debra Demuth
The Colorado Trust
Luis Duarte
ZOMA LAB, ZOMA Foundation
Velvia Garner
Emeritus Member
Nancy Gary, PsyD
Neuro Development Center & Private Practice
Mary Haynes
Daniels Fund
Ryan Kirkpatrick, MBA
Colorado Impact Fund
Peggy Kozal, JD
Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani

Marjorie Lewis, PhD, D.Min
Center for Community Excellence and Social Justice
Robert Parks
Denver Police Department
Theresa Piarrot
Cigna Mountain States
Hannah Schechter, PhD
Bruce Schroffel, MPH, MS
Rick Simms, CPA
R Simms PC
Edie Sonn, MPP
Pinnacol Assurance
Les Wallace, PhD
Signature Resources Inc.
Barbara Yondorf, MPP
Yondorf & Associates


Newsletter by Lauren Anderson, Development Officer of Philanthropy.