Denverite | April 29, 2019
A Sanderson Apartments tenant just escaping homelessness might not be ready to sleep inside. Residents at the complex developed and run by the nonprofit Mental Health Center of Denver have a choice: a courtyard open to the sky behind a high fence along Federal Boulevard.
Architect Patrick Lee included the courtyard after the mental health center said it had a very specific vision for Sanderson, which opened in the summer of 2017 in Mar Lee and is part of a program to house and provide services for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.
The Washington Park Profile | April 19, 2019
After a threat caused schools around the Front Range to close for a day, Denver Public Schools and mental health providers turned their focus to the needs of students.
DPS joined other districts across the state and closed its schools on April 17, following a threat from 18-year-old Florida resident Sol Pais. The FBI reported that Pais was “infatuated” with the Columbine High School shooting, which happened on April 20, 1999. Following a manhunt, Pais was found dead near Mount Evans that same day.
Join the Mental Health Center of Denver for “Beyond the Most Livable City: Writing the Story of Well-Being Innovation”
YourHub | April 19, 2019
How can you improve your well-being through innovations that are being developed right here in Colorado? The Mental Health Center of Denver is hosting a free reception with virtual reality demonstrations and the latest well-being apps, and a thought leader discussion exploring how well-being innovation can advance healthcare accessibility and affordability.
By law, mental health benefits are supposed to be as good as medical coverage. In practice, that’s not happening.
The Colorado Sun | March 27, 2019
Like most dads, John Cooke would have done anything to save his daughter. He was lucky he had the money. To make her well, to make his teenager want to live and stop planning her suicide, Cooke and his wife would end up paying $150,000. With each denial from the family’s insurance company, the Cookes wrote another check. When the company deemed it no longer “medically necessary” for their teenager to stay in a residential treatment center in Wisconsin, or another center in Utah, the Cookes paid out of pocket until the doctors said she was well enough to come home.
Urban Institute | March 20, 2019
Maria* is finally starting to feel at home. After living on the streets for eight years and a brief stint in a halfway house, she now has a permanent home in the Sanderson Apartments in south Denver. With her brother’s help, she’s starting to decorate her one-bedroom apartment with personal touches: a gold lamp with a pink bow hugging the shade, a white Christmas tree that hangs from the ceiling, an open Bible resting on a stool.
“I love my life, and I love myself, and I love my family,” she said, beaming. “And I found myself, found out who I am, where I belong.”
The Profile | March 7, 2019
I love my job as an editor. But there are days when I feel buried in emails, torn between multiple projects as I navigate the logistics of putting out two monthly papers.
Stress is a part of everyone’s life, no ifs, ands or buts about it. What’s important is to make sure you’re giving time back to yourself — or as Katherine Frank with the Healthy Living Team at the Mental Health Center of Denver puts it: “You’re refilling your cup.”
Governing | February 1, 2019
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to make mental health care accessible to everyone. The law mandated “parity” -- that insurance companies must cover mental health services, including substance abuse treatment, on par with medical and surgical care. But the goal hasn’t been realized. Loopholes in the ACA and other federal laws allowed some plans to limit or exclude mental and behavioral health coverage. Oversight and enforcement of the mandates have been inconsistent. And, of course, millions of Americans remain without health coverage.
9News | January 25, 2019
DENVER — There were two things missing from Kaylei Hinkson's life: a personality of her own and the opportunity to just be a kid.
But that all changed after Kaylei was treated at Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being. Kaylei was part of the center's Right Start for Infant Mental Health, a program that treats children ages birth to 5 years when there are concerns about emotions, behavior or development.
OUTFRONT | January 16, 2019
Generally, for the average person, admitting you have a problem is very difficult. Even though I think we have made significant strides in how the general population views behavioral health issues, we still have a long way to go. In my own situation, admitting that I had a problem was very difficult.”
Steven Haden, a psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner with the Mental Health Center of Denver, has been sober for 13 years. While working in New York City, following graduate school at New York University, he developed a substance use disorder and had some complications with depression.
Fox 31/KVDR | November 28, 2018
The Mental Health Center of Denver offers Mental Health First Aid courses twice a month.
Classes are available in both Spanish and English. We offer classes for adult mental health first aid and for adults learning about youth mental health first aid.
The course fee is $20 and includes a Mental Health First Aid course book to keep.
More information at: https://mhcd.org/mental-health-first-aid/
Colorado Politics | November 28, 2018
Earlier this month, Denver voters overwhelmingly approved a monumental commitment to mental health by passing the Caring 4 Denver sales tax. Denver is making good on a promise our country made over half a century ago — to provide mental health, substance use and suicide-prevention programs that are based in the community and respect the dignity of human beings.
The systems in place to deal with behavioral health challenges are often under-resourced, resulting in the last resorts of jails, emergency rooms, and homeless shelters across the country being filled with individuals who have unmet behavioral and mental health needs. It is a sad reality that our Denver jail has become one of Colorado’s largest providers of mental health services.
CityLab | November 21, 2018
A year after Colorado saw a record 1,175 suicides and an all-time high number of drug overdoses, according to the Colorado Health Institute, Denver voters decided to take matters into their own hands.
On Election Day, the city passed a .25 percent sales tax (or 25 cents on a $100 purchase) under the Caring 4 Denver initiative, raising a new stream of money to treat mental health and addiction. It’s meant to take the response out of the hands of police and jails and focus on treatment centers and therapy.
Denver’s effort on chronic homelessness just got another good grade (and its investors got more returns)
Denverite | November 15, 2018
Investors in Denver’s social impact bond program will receive another payment from the city after independent evaluators again saw promise in the effort to house people who have experienced chronic homelessness and repeated visits to emergency rooms and encounters with police.
In a statement Wednesday, the city said investors that include the Denver Foundation and the Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation will get a second payment of $837,600. The city had made an initial payment of $188,000 in October, 2017.
Colorado set up its mental health crisis system four years ago in response to a mass shooting. It’s about to transform.
Colorado Sun | November 14, 2018
Most people who walk in the door of a small, brick building labeled “24/7 Crisis Center” are depressed, suicidal, or experiencing audio or visual hallucinations. Others are young adults going through the first breakup of their lives, feeling so distraught they want to talk to a therapist.
Every crisis is “self-defined,” and Colorado’s 12 walk-in centers have had almost 68,000 visits since they opened four years ago.
CBS 4 Denver | November 11, 2018
Hundreds of Coloradans came together to help people struggling with mental health and homelessness on Saturday. Residents at the Sanderson apartment in West Denver enjoyed a home cooked meal thanks to volunteers. The dinner was part of 100 community service projects going on this weekend organized by the nonprofit “Project: Our Town.” “I just think it’s a great opportunity… Thanksgiving is a good time to do that,” said Wendy Leslie, a volunteer.
Fox 31/KVDR | November 9, 2018
DENVER -- Election night was more than just about candidates and political parties. It was also about issues. In Denver, voters approved a .25 percent tax increase to generate $45 million for mental health funding annually. So what happens next? "This will be the largest mental health funding stream that Denver has ever seen," State Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver) said. Herod helped run the campaign to get it passed.
Open Minds | November 6, 2018
Most specialty provider organization executive teams are looking at the twin challenges of retooling their services lines for success in a market moving toward integrated care coordination and value-based reimbursement. The question is what does this mean for the technology infrastructure of these organizations? That was the focus of the town hall session, Building An Infrastructure For Integrated Care: A Town Hall Discussion On Interoperability, Technology & Innovation at the recent 2018 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute.
Westword | November 5, 2018
Tuesday, November 6, is fast approaching, and Denver residents are now voting on various state- and citywide ballot initiatives. One such initiative is Caring 4 Denver. Created by Representative Leslie Herod and endorsed by influential Coloradans like Wilma Webb and Cynthia Coffman, the initiative would raise Denver's sales tax by .25 percent to bolster the city's mental health resources and substance abuse treatment programs.
Mental Health Center of Denver honors Marla Williams & raises more than $200,000 at annual fundraising breakfast
YourHub | October 25, 2018
Last week, community members gathered to support the Mental Health Center of Denver at its annual Gifts of Hope Fundraising Breakfast. This was the organization’s most successful event yet with more than $200,000 collected from the breakfast to support the not-for-profit community mental health center. Marla Williams, president/CEO of Community First Foundation was honored with the 2018 Community Champion Award for her leadership in community well-being in Denver. She led the foundation to develop the Innovators Society that invests in promising, but not yet proven, not-for-profit innovations to increase awareness and change perceptions of mental health.
5280 Magazine | October 18, 2018
House Representative Leslie Herod (D-District 8) is asking for the public’s help to address the Mile High City’s dearth of mental health and addiction services. “I see how much the community is hurting. I see our alarming rates of suicide…There are three to four overdoses on the streets of Denver every day,” she says. “We need more help, and we don’t have it right now.” Herod is the driving force behind Caring 4 Denver, aka Initiated Ordinance 301 on the Denver municipal ballot. The initiative proposes a 0.25 percent increase to the sales and use tax (25 cents on a $100 purchase) to fund mental health services, facilities, and programs for children and adults; suicide prevention programs; opioid and substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery programs; housing; and first-responder training.
Denver Post | October 15, 2018
It is hard to live in Denver and not see the effect of mental illness and substance abuse on our community. It is visible on our streets, in our schools, in the news, and at our workplaces. We are supporting Caring 4 Denver because we know that we can do something to change this — and we should. Caring 4 Denver will appear at the end of ballots in Denver as Initiated Ordinance 301 and will be a one-quarter-of 1 percent sales and use tax increase (25 cents on a $100-dollar purchase), and raise $45 million per year, to be used for improving the quality, availability, and affordability of community based mental health and addiction care in Denver.
Westword | November 5, 2018
Tuesday, November 6, is fast approaching, and Denver residents are now voting on various state- and citywide ballot initiatives. One such initiative is Caring 4 Denver. Created by Representative Leslie Herod and endorsed by influential Coloradans like Wilma Webb and Cynthia Coffman, the initiative would raise Denver's sales tax by .25 percent to bolster the city's mental health resources and substance abuse treatment programs.
American Healthcare Leader | October 8, 2018
Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) is one of seventeen community mental health centers in Colorado, but it stands out as a leader in offering innovative, holistic programs for mental health and overall well-being. Its Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being offers therapy and mental well-being programs, including a four-acre garden and farm space, that’s open to the community. It offers an aquaponics greenhouse and 46,000 square feet of indoor therapeutic, classroom, play, and community gathering spaces.
South Platte Independent | October 3, 2018
In the lower levels of the downtown branch of the Denver Public Library, Rob Valuck, director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, holds up a small device with a spray nozzle, similar to nasal decongestants. The device contains naloxone, an antidote to opioids, which can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose. The device is easy to use and can help to save someone’s life, Valuck said. After his speech, he pulled out a dummy of the device, asking Mayor Michael B. Hancock to demonstrate how to administer it.
Urban Land Conservancy| September 28, 2018
Urban Land Conservancy celebrates the achievements of our partnerships that create and preserve nonprofit facilities and affordable housing for communities in metro Denver. ULC’s Monthly Partner Spotlight is awarded to partners who demonstrate the value of collaboration, furthering our mission to improve the lives of Metro Denver residents through our real estate investments and community assets.
Congratulations to our September 2018 Partner Spotlight of the Month: Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being!
Westword | September 27, 2018
For state representative Leslie Herod, tackling mental-health and substance-abuse issues is personal. Her sister has been in and out of jail for years, and Herod believes her troubles with the law largely stem from underlying mental-health issues. In November, Denver voters will weigh whether to pass Herod's Caring 4 Denver ballot initiative, which would increase the sales tax by .25 percent, or about $45 million annually, to bolsters the city's existing mental-health and substance-abuse treatment options and fund suicide prevention programs and those targeting the opioid epidemic.
Fox 31/KDVR | September 19, 2018
Dr. Carl Clark from the Mental Health Center of Denver talks about the mental health benefits of cooking.
US Green Building Council | September 11, 2018
Launched in 2014, the LEED social equity pilot credits encourage any and all members of a project team to promote and further social equity by integrating strategies that address identified social and community issues, needs and disparities among those affected by the project. Four exemplary LEED projects have leveraged the social equity pilot credits to demonstrate how their design, programs and organizational operations have maximized positive social impact. Every location is different, which means there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to social equity issues.
Fox 31 News | September 10, 2018
The city of Denver marked World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday with a call to action at the City and County Building. Ben, 20, says he struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide for much of his life. "I used to have suicidal thoughts daily," he said. But, one day he got up the courage to call a suicide prevention hotline. He was connected to resources and started getting help at Emerson Street for Teens and Young Adults with the Mental Health Center of Denver.
CBS News | September 10, 2018
Community leaders in Denver gathered to deliver an important message on World Suicide Prevention Day: There is help. The message comes as health experts say deaths by suicide are on the rise in Colorado. In the first nine months of the year, Denver has seen 15 more people die of suicide compared to all of 2017. The City of Denver is working to address behavioral health issues by creating a specific task force. Some of the solutions being discussed include a social worker accompanying first responders to 911 calls.
Denverite | September 7, 2018
The Colorado Judicial Department is joining the wave of progressive practices in the criminal justice system, and on Oct. 1 they will launch a program that puts mental health liaisons in all 22 of Colorado’s judicial districts. “The court liaisons will work directly with defendants to ensure they receive appropriate evaluations and needed mental health services,” read a press release released by the Colorado Judicial Department.
CIO Applications | July 12, 2018
Technology holds a lot of promise for improving healthcare, but without to change management and clinical workflow, staff may refuse to adopt the new technology. Health care payment reform -- such as the Accountable Care Collaborative 2.0 that changes how Colorado's Medicaid payments are distributed -- emphasizes greater care coordination, which will hopefully lead to better care and a healthier population. Providers in Colorado are looking toward health information exchange for facilitating better coordinated care.
Stemming the Tide: Wes Williams’ IT efforts are helping Mental Health Center of Denver reduce suicide
American Healthcare Leader | May 11, 2018
A decade ago, a Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) patient with suicidal ideation in his late twenties was convinced that he would not live to be thirty years old. He stabilized and improved through intensive treatment and appeared to be doing well. Several years later, however, there was turnover among his treatment team, certain details of his initial admission and treatment were either lost or overlooked, and he did, in fact, die by suicide before his thirtieth birthday.
Wes Williams is determined to ensure that scenario does not happen again.
Colorado Public Television | April 6, 2018
The Denver Post | April 5, 2018
A group of health care advocates and a Democratic state lawmaker are seeking a 0.25 percent sales tax increase in Denver to raise money for mental health and substance abuse treatment in the city, which they say is lacking.
The proposed November ballot measure would raise $45 million in its first year and continue for 10 years.
Met Media | April 5, 2018
Noel Lebsack is a self-identified addict and alcoholic who has been sober since 2012. He went through five separate recovery and rehabilitation programs before his sober date.
Lebsack said if someone thinks they might be experiencing a substance use disorder, they have to be willing to change, but shouldn’t be discouraged if a treatment strategy doesn’t work immediately.
Colorado Public Radio | April 5, 2018
A ballot initiative in Denver could bring in tens of millions of dollars a year to help those with mental health and substance disorder issues.
State lawmaker Leslie Herod, a Denver Democrat, is spearheading the "Caring 4 Denver" campaign. She says the proposal makes financial sense because if it’s passed by voters it could fund a variety of mental health programs. The proposal calls for a one-quarter of 1 percent sales tax -- that's 25 cents on a $100 purchase.
Denverite | April 5, 2018
The Mental Health Center of Denver is partnering with state Rep. Leslie Herod to campaign for a half-billion dollars of new spending on mental health, addiction services and housing over the next decade.
They want local voters to decide whether to raise city sales taxes by 25 cents per $100 of spending on restaurant meals, consumer goods and more. The hike is expected to generate about $45 million in its first year.
KVDR Fox News | April 5, 2018
DENVER -- According to Dr. Carl Clark, Colorado has an opioid crisis.
"Some of our rural communities, It’s absolutely devastating but even in Denver where I am we have three opioid deaths every day," Clark said.
Colorado State Rep. Leslie Herod shares the doctor's diagnosis.
Denver Metro Media | April 4, 2018
Controversy continues to swirl around the plans of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church to provide housing to homeless and mentally ill people. The church is located in the Clement Historic District and near the epicenter of Denver’s homeless population and the many service organizations attempting to provide shelter, support and treatment facilities.
Currently, the church plans to partner with Mental Health Centers of Denver (MHCD) to erect Glenarm Commons in its parking lot: four-stories and 48 units of “permanent supportive housing” for homeless, mentally handicapped residents.
Public defenders from across the country came to Denver to talk about dealing with mental health in the criminal justice system
Denverite | April 4, 2018
Public defenders from across the country gathered in Denver last week to talk about best practices for diverting people suffering from mental health issues away from the criminal justice system at a conference hosted by the Equitas Project.
Colorado State Public Defender Douglas K. Wilson is increasingly concerned about Colorado’s lack of attention to the issue and worries that the financial and moral consequences of inaction could be devastating.
Business Den | April 3, 2018
A downtown church has both short-term and long-term plans to find a new use for an adjacent parking lot.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, along with the Mental Health Center of Denver, submitted plans to the city last week proposing to build 48 affordable housing units on 0.43 acres at 2061 and 2071 Glenarm Place.
Front Porch | April 1, 2018
Intersections between mental illness and crime have been prominent in the news lately. Law enforcement officers and high school students are among those who’ve been killed by perpetrators with a history of mental illness. But even in garden-variety crises, mental health issues impact victims, perpetrators, families and communities.
CoBiz Magazine | March/April 2018
Annette and Paul's daughter ran a thriving business and owned real estate in their hometown of Pueblo. Then she turned 33, and things changed dramatically. "She talked about being a spirit medium," Annette says. Paranoia began. Mysterious entities stole clothes, moved belongings and spoke to Annette's daughter through ear buds.
Denver sold bonds to reduce the human and financial costs of homelessness. The results so far are promising.
The Denver Post | March 19, 2018
They found Robert Bischoff by sharing his photo with a Sinclair gas station clerk who often sold him cigarettes.
They met Alexander Jacob after sending his mom a letter, even though he almost didn’t respond because he figured it was “trash mail.”
The two men and more than 250 more people — all homeless and high-frequency users of jail, detox and emergency departments at taxpayer expense — have been tracked down by Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and Mental Health Center of Denver outreach workers and given apartments through Denver’s social-impact bond program. About two years into the five-year program, researchers have noted a dramatic drop in jail days.
Westword | March 13, 2018
The devil had taken over his grandmother’s body, pulling out her soul. Thinking he was Jesus, Joe Bowers decided to put an end to the battle of good versus evil.
He waited for his grandmother, the woman who’d raised him, to go to bed. “I gave her time, and then I went to the kitchen cabinet, took out a 16 gauge shotgun, loaded it and walked upstairs,” Bowers recalls.
Health Data Management | March 2, 2018
Mental Health Center of Denver is securely sharing behavioral health data with local physicians when patients explicitly consent, in an attempt to improve the coordination of care and build a person-centric approach between behavioral, primary care and ancillary providers.
The center uses the Netsmart behavioral health electronic health record, which has integrated with the Carequality interoperability network of the Sequoia Project to exchange behavioral health records.
Healthcare IT News | February 27, 2018
Denver Health and the Mental Health Center of Denver announced a collaboration via the Carequality interoperability framework to integrate behavioral and physical health data of patients.
“The application of Carequality to our current NetSmart electronic health record solution has helped to open additional doors that create the best opportunity for true integration of mental and physical healthcare,” Wes Williams, CIO at Mental Health Center of Denver, said in a statement.
5280 Magazine | January 3, 2018
You might mistake the five-month-old Sanderson Apartments in southwest neighborhood Mar Lee for any of the new residential complexes around town. But every aspect of the building—the Mental Health Center of Denver’s newest permanent supportive housing—makes the residents, who are chronically homeless people with histories of behavioral health issues and trauma, feel safe.
Denver Post | January 2, 2018
Colorado is pushing for new approaches to how police officers handle cases involving mental illness and drug addiction, encouraging them to steer low-level offenders toward treatment rather than jail and giving them assistance in dealing with potentially dangerous situations. In one tactic, mental health professionals ride with officers during 911 responses and some routine patrols.
Denverite | December 4, 2017
Sometime in the next few days, you are very likely to hear the words “Colorado Gives Day.” In the course of just seven years, the philanthropic event has become remarkably popular and helped inspire a wave of other giving days around the country.
Colorado Public Radio | November 27, 2017
Of the dozens of new apartment buildings going up in Denver these days, one stands out. The Sanderson Apartments on South Federal Boulevard feature trauma-informed design to accommodate those who experienced abuse and other ordeals when they were homeless. Architectural choices — from the hallways, to the bedrooms — were made to make residents feel at home.
Healthcare Tech Outlook | November 10, 2017
People are rightfully skeptical of buzzwords and facile trends in organizational management. For every successful launch of a Six
Sigma campaign, there’s a workforce somewhere groaning about another mandated management “retreat,” or a cosmetic rearranging of office chairs with no fundamental change in the way things get done.
Affordable Housing Finance | October 26, 2017
Some of Denver’s most vulnerable homeless individuals are on a path to stability with the opening of Sanderson Apartments in September. Developed by the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD), a nonprofit community mental health center that has been providing housing and services for over 25 years, the permanent supportive housing project includes 60 one-bedroom furnished apartments and wraparound services.
San Francisco Public Press | October 24, 2017
Governments have been looking for an effective, cost-efficient way to house their homeless populations, especially the high-need individuals straining public resources while out on the streets. But many are hesitant to commit significant taxpayer money to the long-term interventions that service providers insist are necessary.
CIO Review | October 18, 2017
Health care has made huge changes in how content is managed in the 12 years since I left clinical practice to focus on health IT. As a clinical psychologist, all my intake assessments, progress notes, and treatment plans were hand-written. I moved into health IT to help digitize behavioral health care and have seen a sea change in enterprise content management that spans electronic health records, data warehousing and business intelligence, corporate intranets, cloud computing, and now interoperability and health information exchange.
CPR | September 29, 2017
Suicide is always difficult to deal with, especially for teenagers. In Colorado, the number of teens taking their own lives has increased dramatically in recent years, nearly doubling between 2006 and 2016.
EdSurge | September 27, 2017
In 2008, the Holly Square Shopping Center in northeast Denver was firebombed with molotov cocktails in gang-related arson. The next day, our neighborhood found an asbestos-ridden shell of a building where once stood the heart of the neighborhood. The community rallied to rebuild, and the community group in charge of redevelopment asked me to build a new school on the ashes of the former shopping center.
CoBiz Magazine | September 12, 2017
Last year, Mental Health Center of Denver helped more than 50,000 children, families and adults through treatment and outreach programs. It provides comprehensive and accessible mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing, education and employment services for adults and is the leading resource of treatment for infants, children, teens and families.
Two student suicides in two days, both following social media posts, leave Littleton community seeking answers
The Denver Post | September 1, 2017
In the twilight, they pointed the lights of their cellphones toward the students in the center of the circle. They numbered in the hundreds, gathered in a grassy park on a school night through the power of Snapchat...
Media Coverage for Sanderson Apartments Grand Opening
Various News Sources | August 24, 2017
The following links contain articles and videos covering the grand opening of the Sanderson Apartments. This project, completed in August 2017, aims to provide a solution to homelessness through permanent supportive housing.
Distrupting the CIO Comfort Zone to Innovate and Transform How Behavioral Health Clinics Use Electronic Health Records
CIO Applications | August 16, 2017
Wes Williams, CIO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, discusses the transition from the legacy EHR system to a new, more comprehensive system. The Mental Health Center of Denver partners with Netsmart Technologies and Intersystems, working together to build out solutions for clinicians to have better access to narrative text in patient records.
Denver Business Journal | July 6, 2017
Dr. Carl Clark, president & CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, answers quick questions in this video snapshot.
In addition to the video, Dr. Clark elaborates on his decision to pursue psychiatry in Denver. He describes the cultivated culture of Well-Being at the Mental Health Center of Denver, and how that applies to both staff and the people we serve. During a fundamental shift in neurological study at the turn of the century, psychiatrists and psychologists began to focus on what could go right with the brain, rather than what could go wrong. This focus on individual and team strengths continues at MHCD.
Colorado Public Radio | June 15, 2017
What was once a blighted lot in Denver's Northeast Park Hill neighborhood is now an oasis for family health, food access and care.
Wrapped inside of the 4-acre Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being is the region's largest aquaponics greenhouse, which helps feed the neighborhood fish and greens. You'll find a 40,000 square foot urban garden, a children's dental clinic, teaching kitchens, a preschool, and a mental health care center.
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits | April 2017 • Volume VIII • Issue IV
As one of the largest behavioral health centers in Colorado, the Mental Health Center of Denver has a significant impact on the area. It provides mental health treatment, prevention, outreach and crisis services to more than 44,000 children, families and adults each year.
The organization continues to increase its efforts, this time with a 60-unit permanent supportive housing development serving chronically homeless individuals who struggle with mental health and substance abuse in Denver.
Mental Health Center of Denver offers mental health first aid training to help people experiencing a mental health crisis
YourHub Denver | March 24, 2017
An estimated one in four Americans experiences a mental health issue each year. But because of the barriers to accessing mental health care, often people face their problems alone and only find help if their illness escalates into a full-blown crisis.
PBS Newshour | March 21, 2017
After years of neglect, parents in one of Denver's poorest neighborhoods hoped that a new preschool would be built in their community. Instead, they got much more.
William Brangham recently visited there, and he is back again with this report.
It's part of our weekly series Making the Grade.
Denver Post | January 7, 2017
The 911 call is a typical one. A disheveled man has been spotted for the third time that week wandering the street, making threatening gestures and talking loudly, but incoherently, to himself.
The response, however, is not typical.
As a result of the Denver Police Department’s new co-responder initiative, instead of a lone officer driving to the location to check out the person and perhaps arrest him, a licensed mental health clinician accompanies the officer, so a mental health diagnosis can be made on the spot. Then, a joint decision is made: arrest and jail; or mental health services.
Denver Post | November 15, 2016
The empty lot in the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood has always just been called the Dahlia. That space of land off Dahlia Street and East 35th Avenue was once the country’s largest African-American-owned mall, and there have been many empty promises about what would take its place. But one promise was kept and the site is now called the Mental Health Center’s Dahlia Campus for Health and Well Being — and it’s still identified by the familiar name.
Denver Post | November 2, 2016
At the community mental health center east of downtown, people scheduled for therapy appointments stamp out cigarette butts on the sidewalk after a few last drags. Inside, others picking up prescriptions sit in a hospital-like waiting area, some with everything they own stuffed in backpacks and shopping bags. Fairly often, someone shouts or sings or talks to themselves.
Teenagers don’t like it here much.
So they don’t come often — to the Mental Health Center of Denver’s clinical offices or to its adult psychiatric rehab center south of downtown, where instructors teach culinary job skills in a cafe and art classes in a basement studio. In fact, the age group least likely to seek and get help at the mental health center is 17 to 25, about the same age range when many serious mental health issues — including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — typically first emerge.
Confluence Denver | October 26, 2016
Denver is building, rebuilding, renovating and reinventing. Here are 12 of the projects we're most excited to check out once the dust settles. When Sanderson Apartments opens next summer at 1601 S. Federal Blvd., 60 chronically homeless people in Denver will have a place to call home.
Modeled after successful permanent supportive housing projects in other U.S. cities, Sanderson will be the largest supportive housing project for the Mental Health Center of Denver, a nonprofit community mental health center that has been delivering comprehensive and accessible mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing, education and employment services to children, families and adults for more than 25 years.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock honored as 2016 Community Champion at the Mental Health Center of Denver’s Gifts of Hope; Community turns out in force to support mental health programs
Denver Post's YourHub | October 13, 2016
On Oct. 11, nearly 600 community members gathered to support the Mental Health Center of Denver at its annual Gifts of Hope Fundraising Breakfast. At the event, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock was honored as the 2016 Community Champion Award for his many efforts to support mental health programs and improve well-being in Denver.
CIO Review | September 30, 2016
Technology is not my organization’s business. Helping people improve their mental health and helping our clinicians reach more people using more effective mental health interventions–that is our business. It may seem obvious, but it is easy to get caught up in technology for its own sake. Our staff is only interested in technology when it makes for better and more efficient delivery of mental health care and better support for our clinicians. So, the mission of our Information Systems department is to find or create the information tools that staff can quickly learn to use.
Mental health workers join Denver police officers to help divert people to treatment instead of jail
Denver Post | September 2, 2016
Mental health workers are joining Denver police on foot and in their patrol cars to help handle calls involving people in mental health crisis, a new program aimed at getting people into treatment instead of sending them to jail.
The six social workers and clinicians are employees of the Mental Health Center of Denver but work at Denver police headquarters through the partnership, called the “co-responder” program. The $500,000 initiative, funded through grants and other money from Denver Human Services, is part of the city’s crisis intervention and response unit specializing in mental and behavioral health calls.
Channel 7 News | September 2, 2016
DENVER -- Denver police and sheriff deputies are trained to deal with people who are coping with mental health challenges. They’re taught how to de-escalate situations.
Sometimes they need expert help.
Last April, Denver PD, the Department of Human Service’s Office of Behavioral Health Strategies and the Mental Health Center of Denver teamed up, to better serve the mental and behavioral health needs of those they come into contact with, as first responders.
“Between April and July alone, we saw over 400 calls,” said Julie Smith, the director of marketing and communications for the Department of Human Services. “We were able to connect most of them to treatment that will help them move forward.”
CBS Denver | June 7, 2016
DENVER (CBS4) – Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults in Colorado, according to the 2014-1215 report from the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention. Now one group is trying to change that.
Rocky Mountain PBS speaks with Maya Wheeler and Dr. Lydia Prado exploring Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being. (Interview begins at 14:13)
Rocky Mountain PBS | May 27, 2016
DENVER - Leaders of the Second Chance Center in Aurora discuss what it takes to help parolees reintegrate in their communities and avoid going back to prison; How a new community center in Denver’s Park Hill became more than just a mental health clinic; Why Denver Police are reaching out to teens to improve their mutual perceptions about each other.
Former Mental Health Center of Denver Board Member, Roberta Payne, PhD, talks with 9News about living with a mental illness.
9News | May 17, 2016
DENVER - Schizophrenia is a genetic disease that is not common. It affects just 1 percent of Americans. Even though it affects a small number of the population, it's ramifications are huge. People with schizophrenia have an imbalance of brain chemicals. It's those chemicals that stimulate nerve cells in the brain to communicate with each other.
9News | May 17, 2016
KUSA - May is Mental Health Month. Statistics show that more than 50 percent of lifetime cases of mental illness start at about age 14.
Particularly when talking about preadolescence, it's hard to tell the difference between typical moodiness and something that needs a little more help.
9News | April 25, 2016
DENVER - A three-story, 50,000 square-foot building with 60 one-bedroom furnished apartments and on-site staff will soon open to help Denver's homeless.
The Sanderson Apartments, located at 1601 S. Federal Blvd., is the largest supportive housing project for the Mental Health Center of Denver.
"We're estimating that we're about 26,000 affordable housing units short," Dr. Carl Clark, CEO of Denver Mental Health Center, said. "So this particular project is 60 units -- that's good but we've got a long way to go."
Denver Post | April 25, 2016
Construction began Monday on a new Denver apartment building that will house 60 people who are chronically homeless, a joint project of the city and a community mental health center.
The three-story Sanderson Apartments, at Federal Boulevard and West Iowa Avenue, is expected to open in summer 2017. It will become the Mental Health Center of Denver's largest "supportive living" center, meaning residents will have on-site mental health care.
BusinessDen | April 25, 2016
On Monday, the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) broke ground on a $10.6 million apartment building in southwest Denver that includes counseling and other services onsite.
Sanderson Apartments’ 60 one-bedroom units will be open to the physically and mentally disabled as well as to homeless and low-income Denverites.
CBS Denver | April 26, 2016
DENVER (CBS4)– A new housing project in Denver has been designed to help those who are chronically homeless. The Sanderson Apartments will house some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Employees with the Mental Health Center of Denver broke ground on the new complex at Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue on Monday.
Denver Real Estate Watch | April 26, 2016
Sanderson Apartments groundbreaking was held on Monday. It will provide 60 units for the recently homeless. The apartment development in SW Denver opens in 2017.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday for the 60-unit Sanderson Apartments that will serve formerly homeless in Denver.
Colorado Public Radio | Mar 8, 2016
Rocky Mountain PBS | Mar 4, 2016
The Denver Post | Feb 28, 2016
On a day more than 30 years ago when she answered the knock at her Five Points home, Brenda Marshall-Wright did not immediately recognize the beginning of an ordeal that would span decades of heartbreak and frustration.
Energy Outreach Colorado | Feb 8, 2016
Mental Health Center of Denver’s newly-opened Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being is a welcoming place for members of the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood in Denver to connect, learn new skills and find support services. Energy Outreach Colorado supported the innovative project with a $25,000 energy efficiency grant.
National Council for Behavioral Health | Feb 2, 2016
Denver’s Northeast Park Hill is a proud neighborhood filled with strong people. Built in the 1950s, Dahlia Square was the largest African-American-owned shopping center in the U.S. with a thriving grocery store, roller-skating rink, bowling alley and a full array of local businesses. But times changed and gradually the once popular neighborhood nucleus became an eyesore and was razed. It became a gaping hole in the neighborhood fabric.
5280 Magazine | December 2015
Babies are a little (ok, a lot) emotional. One moment they coo, and the next they sob seemingly because you had the audacity to hand them a favorite toy. That over-the-top spectrum of behavior is completely normal. What’s not is an unusually withdrawn baby, one who has stopped crying to communicate, which can be an early sign that his mental wellness is hurting. “We diagnose PTSD in babies as young as nine months old,” says Dr. Shannon Bekman, program manager for Denver’s Right Start for Infant Mental Health. “You can diagnose depression fairly reliably in an infant as young as four months.”
Denver Post | December 14, 2015
Northeast Park Hill has seen promises broken before. So when Denver's community mental health center began planning a new clinic at the site of what was, in its heyday, the country's largest African-American-owned mall, the response was skepticism.
Where Kids In Poverty And Education Intersect, Daily Uncertainties Remain - See more at: Where Kids In Poverty And Education Intersect, Daily Uncertainties Remain
Colorado Public Radio | December 10, 2015
More than a year ago we saw one census statistic we just couldn't shake. At the time, nearly one in five kids in the state were living in poverty. We set out to learn about childhood poverty in Colorado: What it looked like and what was being done about it. We're looking back at our coverage now, taking stock of what we've learned and revisiting some of the people we interviewed.
Greater Park Hill Community | Dec 1, 2015
As we near the end of the fall semester, many of us wonder how we made it this far without hurting someone. OK, that may sound a little drastic, but now that students have been in school for five months, for some, the newness (i.e. new teachers, new friends, new interests) has lost its luster. Instead of being happy each day, some of our children are naming every excuse in the book explaining why he or she can’t possibly go to school on a given day.
BusinessDen | Nov 24, 2015
After three years of planning, the Mental Health Center of Denver’s new site in northeast Denver will open Dec. 15.
The Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being at East 35th Avenue and Dahlia Street will include not just space for counselors to meet with patients, but also a dental clinic, two schools and a community garden.
PBS | November 18, 2015
Michelle Tijerina of Mental Health Center of Denver's Voz y Corazon program was featured on PBS's In Studio Follow Up discussion of the documentary Walking Man.
Colorado Public Radio | June 12, 2015
Alexandra’s black sketchbook is filled with her pencil drawings of roses, dresses, and people. The people don’t look like her. But they reflect the emotions Alexandra has felt. “I’ve suffered from depression since I started middle school,” the 14-year-old says. For Alexandra, art is also a distraction from her worries. Life can still be hard. So she draws, she paints, and makes jewelry with a Denver program called Voz y Corazón.
The Denver Post | April 10, 2015
Over the past few weeks, there have been several distressing acts, both in Colorado and internationally, that have left many of us saddened and stunned at their senselessness. It has been widely reported that the perpetrators of both the Germanwings airplane tragedy, as well as the actions committed against a pregnant Longmont woman, were both experiencing depression.
The Villager | April 8, 2015
The 14th annual Centus Samaritan Luncheon is May 5 and is being held at the Police Protective Association Event Center.
Former Colorado first lady Jeannie Ritter, Mental Health Ambassador of the Mental Health Center of Denver, and Dr. Carl Clark, president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, are honorees. Ritter is well known as a mental health advocate and an outspoken voice for mental health.
The Advisory Board Company | December 15, 2014
The 11th installment of the Daily Briefing's Architectural Design Showcase features 12 facilities that focus on behavioral health services, including the Mental Health Center of Denver.
The Denver Post | December 15, 2014
Mental health advocate Don Mares, a former Denver auditor, will return to city government to coordinate far-flung efforts and create a strategy on the mental health issue.
Denver Life Magazine | December 15, 2014
The Mental Health Center of Denver's President and CEO, Dr. Carl Clark, was quoted in the "Receiving the Benefits of Giving" article in the December 2014 issue of Denver Life Magazine.
The Denver Post | November 25, 2014
Mental Health Center of Denver Programs and Consumers Featured in Recent Series in the Denver Post.
The Denver Post | November 6, 2014
Mayor Michael B. Hancock joined community leaders to break ground and officially announce the name of the Mental Health Center of Denver’s new child and family site.
Interiors & Sources Magazine | October 24, 2014
The Mental Health Center of Denver’s Recovery Center was chosen by Interiors and Sources magazine as one of their Top 10 LEED buildings for 2014.
Denver Life Magazine | October 10, 2014
We are pleased to announce that the Mental Health Center of Denver was featured in the 2014 October issue of Denver Life Magazine.
The Denver Post | April 15, 2014
Therapies based on brain science — and limited use of antipsychotic medications — are the answer for thousands of foster kids whose traumatic childhoods have left them with depression and extreme aggression, according to a growing number of experts.
Durango Herald | April 8, 2014
Alex Meredith, 29, sorts clothes hangers at his part-time job at Arc Thrift Store in Lakewood. Meredith was diagnosed with autism when he was very young. He also displayed symptoms of mental illness – obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, psychosis and depression.
Rocky Mountain PBS | April 7, 2014
Ric Durity remembers when HIV/AIDS wiped out his partner, his friends, and a swath of the creative classes of a generation.
And he remembers what came next: The outrage that rode on the heels of adversity, and demanded the wide changes that rippled from medicine outward.
The Denver Post | April 6, 2014
Most of a $22 million infusion into Colorado's stressed mental health system — a response by the governor to the Aurora movie theater massacre — is stranded in the courts as the state and disappointed bidders wrestle for the money.
Fox 31 Denver | April 5, 2014
On Saturday, Colorado picked up what President Obama started ten months ago at the White House, a national conversation about mental health in the United States. Forty-five million Americans, and one in four Coloradans, will suffer from mental illnesses, like depression, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress syndrome. Across the state, over a hundred individuals gathered Saturday as part of the Creating Community Solutions effort.
The Gazette | April 4, 2014
A raised red oval, a couple of inches in diameter, sits at the top of Alex Meredith's forehead. It is the physical mark of a besieged mind. Meredith, who is 29, started bashing himself in the head when he was in his teens. Now, his parents can see it coming.
Colorado Business Magazine | February 7, 2014
Employee engagement is a concept that many companies struggle with. A recent Gallup report, State of American Workplace 2013, found that only about 30 percent of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs. That means a whopping 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged, costing the U.S. an estimated $450 to $550 billion annually in lost productivity. Creating a culture that keeps employees actively involved is a process that continues to evolve.
Intermountain Jewish News | January 9, 2014
Hundreds of people turned out to express an interest in mental illness in the Jewish community, attending the inaugural event of Areivim Taskforce Denver, Jan. 5, at Zera Abraham.
North Denver Tribune | December 24, 2013
The goal of KCF is to provide a Christmas experience for kids that would not have one. “The idea was born when a friend reached out to me about a family that was not going to have presents, a tree or a meal for the holidays.” said Greg Garman, one of the founding members of the organization.
The Denver Post | December 24, 2013
Since the beginning of this school year, reports of 16 planned attacks — that someone had a hit list or was coming to school with a gun — were made to Safe2Tell, the anonymous hotline where people can report threats against themselves or others.
In 2012, 42 planned school attacks were received, more than half in December after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Colorado Business Magazine | December 17, 2013
Dr. Clark was among 24 outstanding finalists from all over the state with Tim Miller, CEO of Rally Software, being chosen as CEO of the Year. Each finalist was asked to respond to questions about the philosophies or experiences that shaped them.
5280 Magazine | December 1, 2013
It wasn't raining on that day last July, but it might as well have been. Judy, 68, was born and raised under Colorado's bluebird skies, and lately she felt tossed around in a torrential, unrelenting storm that only she saw. It was often lonely and bleak. And now it was frightening: she couldn't find her son.
The Denver Post | October 27, 2013
High turnover rates at community mental health centers were the norm a decade ago, with some Colorado safety-net clinics reporting 34 percent of clinicians leaving each year.
The trend has reversed at some centers, where managers have improved recruitment and retention by focusing on improved work conditions and benefits for employees who treat low-income and uninsured patients who often have been referred there after a mental health emergency.
Modern Healthcare | May 5, 2013
The Mental Health Center of Denver's new Recovery Center, which opened last July, was recently awarded LEED platinum certification—the highest level of recognition under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The center is the first healthcare institution to earn LEED platinum certification in Colorado.
Denver Business Journal | April 26, 2013
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce handed out business honors on Friday at its annual awards luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center.
Rocky Mountain PBS | April 17, 2013
Host Tamara Banks talks with a panel of experts about the recent bombings that took place near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. With three people killed and close to 200 injured, President Obama has recently come out citing this tragedy as an act of terror. Guests discuss how this could have happened and what's next for Americans in addressing "terrorism."
Healthcare Design Magazine | March 21, 2013
The Denver Post | March 17, 2013
One in four people will face a mental-health issue this year, several studies say. Leaders of Colorado's 17 mental-health centers are pushing to expand programs to better treat people struggling with milder issues before they slide into crisis — a level of mental illness that is more difficult and costly to treat.
Community mental-health centers across the state, already plagued by a shortage of beds and long waiting lists, have seen the number of people seeking services spike in recent years — some seeing the populations double in less than five years.
The Denver Post | February 19, 2013
There is a system in place to help parents manage kids with mental illness. Schools and counselors communicate with parents and doctors work with them to ensure a correct diagnosis and that the child receives proper medications.
But as children grow older, state health laws allow them to keep their parents out of the loop, leaving it up to the person struggling with mental illness to follow through with treatment.
Colorado Statesman | January 25, 2013
Colorado Public Radio | January 8, 2013
Denver resident Rich Ables used to be in and out of emergency rooms twice a week for asthma attacks. Now, he’s only had to go to the ER twice in the last year and a half. The treatment breakthrough? Helping him get an apartment and mental health counseling. CPR Health Reporter Eric Whitney says “hotspotters” look for people like Ables, who use far more healthcare than the average person, then intervene to keep them healthier...
The Denver Post | June 25, 2012
Denver's anchor mental-health center is spending millions to renovate a headquarters clinic, but officials are spending a lot of time thinking about 99-cent pill boxes.
For the deeply troubled, a pill organizer represents much more than a hunk of molded plastic. The medication inside is a lifeline, and sorting, scheduling and remembering pills is a crucial signal of wellness for many.
Mental Health Center CEO Knows the Toll of the Economic Downturn
Colorado Business Magazine | September 1, 2011
Three years ago, Carl Clark, CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, threw down the gauntlet to his staff of 500 - to make his organization the greenest mental health center in the country.
Mugs replaced disposable cups; bottled water was eliminated; staff were given Eco Passes to encourage bus ridership and Clark would ride his bike to work. "People like doing things in a green way so staff have really taken to it," said Clark, who is overseeing the $15 million purchase and renovation of a building at 4455 E. 12th Ave. in Denver that will open next year as an adult services recovery center.
Colorado Statesman | May 6, 2011
With the advent of national healthcare reform come countless changes to how healthcare is delivered and paid for in America. Over the next several years the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010, requiring that all Americans have health insurance coverage, will go into effect.
Denver Business Journal | November 12, 2010
Mental health care in Denver stands to get a major boost from the federal health care reform bill.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable care Act, mental halth care will be considered an essential benefit that must be offered - as is physical health care - by all insurers when the individual insurance mandate takes effect in 2014.
Mental Health Weekly | October 18, 2010
The Mental Health Center of Denver had held a series of recovery-focused conference events about a decade ago, but its leaders were getting restless. They realized that sponsoring a conference really wouldn’t move the needle on transforming their own community mental health facility from one that simply tried to keep clients out of the hospital to one that helped people achieve a meaningful life in recovery.
Behavioral Healthcare | October 1, 2010
Carl Clark, MD, focuses consumers and staff on what they can do, not what they can't, to promote recovery and growth
Carl Clark, MD, believed in recovery long before the behavioral healthcare industry adopted it as a model of treatment. As a child, he witnessed recovery firsthand when his father, then in his mid-30s, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Rather than succumb to his illness, Clark's father worked hard at his recovery, eventually returning to work full time.
National Council Magazine | September 1, 2007
Carl Clark, MD, Chief Executive Offi cer and P. Antonio Olmos-Gallo, PhD, Director of Evaluation & Research — Mental Health Center of Denver
“As clinicians, we have historically used anecdotal data to inform clinical practice to promote recovery outcomes for consumers. With Recovery Markers, we now have longitudinal, empirical data to support our clinical judgment and decisions.”
Measuring our success in recovery requires those of us in mental health service delivery to be more accountable to our communities and to demonstrate the difference we make in the lives of the people we serve.
Behavioral Healthcare | March 1, 2006
Homeless consumers are empowered to make decisions that fundamentally change their lives.