In the News

In the News

Watch & Read about Mental Health Center of Denver in the news.

Mental Health First Aid Classes featured on Fox 31/KVDR

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:

THE PODIUM | 'Caring 4 Denver' gives the homeless a new lease on life

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Why Denver Voted to Fund Mental-Health Treatment

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Volunteers Cook Meal For Homeless As Part Of Community Projects

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.

Click here to read the full story.

What’s next after Denver passes tax increase for mental health funding

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Tech Capabilities In An Era Of Integration & Value

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.

Click here to read the full story.

DPD's Co-Responder Unit Hopes to Get a Boost From Caring 4 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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Will Denver Vote to Fund More Mental Health and Addiction Services?

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver can and should help those with mental health needs

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.

Click here to read the full story.

DPD's Co-Responder Unit Hopes to Get a Boost From Caring 4 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.

Click here to read the full story.

The Importance of Financial Education to Angela Oakley

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver takes action against addiction

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.

Click here to read the full story.

September Partner Spotlight of the Month: Dahlia Campus for Mental Health & Well-Being

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!

Click here to read the full story.

Caring 4 Denver: What You Will Be Voting for in November

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Cooking with Dr. Clark: Grilled Tilapia & Early Autumn Salad

Fox 31/KDVR | September 19, 2018

Dr. Carl Clark from the Mental Health Center of Denver talks about the mental health benefits of cooking.

Click here to read the full story.

Discover LEED projects that are building social equity

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver marks World Suicide Prevention Day with a call to action

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver Creates Task Force To Tackle Growing Suicide Rate

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.

Click here to read the full story.

New program will put a mental health liaison in every Colorado judicial district

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Technology Driving Better Mental Health Outcomes

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Colorado Inside Out

Colorado Public Television | April 6, 2018

Denver sales tax hike would raise millions for mental health care, substance abuse treatment

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Assistance for substance abusers

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver Ballot Initiative Aims To Finance Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver tax proposal would raise $45 million per year for mental health, housing, addiction

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.

Click here to read the full story.

More Americans should carry opioid overdose reversing drug, surgeon general says

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.

Click here to read the full story.

St. Andrew’s mission raises neighbors’ ire

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Downtown church parking lot could host tiny homes, eventual redevelopment

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Social Workers Join Cops on Patrol

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.

Click here to read the full story.

The Lagging State of Mental Health Care

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

At Friendly Harbor, Peer Mentors Are Key to Mental Health

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Providers access behavioral health data through Carequality

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.

Click here to read the full story.

Denver medical groups tap Carequality to pull together mental and physical patient data

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Click here to read the full story.