Announcing: New State Behavioral Health Taskforce

Posted: June 30, 2021

A taskforce is being created to issue a report with recommendations to the General Assembly and Governor on policies to create transformational change in the areas of behavioral health using money the state receives from the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. The taskforce will include legislative members and may include non-legislative members as well. The taskforce is expected to convene is August 2021 and then meet biweekly from October/November until January 2022. Subpanels will also be formed to meet more frequently and help drive and support the work of larger taskforce. The subpanels will meet between 10-16 times. A final report to the legislature is due January 21, 2022. You can find more information about the taskforce here

The taskforce is in need of the following specialists:

(a) The President of the Senate shall appoint the following members: 

(I) One member with knowledge of evidence-based harm reduction strategies; 
(II) One member representing a disability advocacy or policy organization; 
(III) One member with expertise in the needs of the criminal justice population; 
(IV) One member from the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention;
 (V) Three members representing behavioral health practitioners or providers as follows. An appointee can fulfill more than one of the listed
requirements: 
          (A) At least one member focused on provision of behavioral health services to children or youth; 
          (B) At least one member focused on provision of behavioral health services to adults; 
          (C) At least one member focused on substance use disorder treatment; and 
          (D) At least one member focused on mental health treatment; 
(VI) One member representing the behavioral health needs of frontline and low income workers; and
(VII) One representative from a hospital that has demonstrated experience working with the behavioral health community or treating patients with complex behavioral health needs. 

(b) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the following members: 

(I) One member representing a statewide organization that develops and advocates for mental health policy; 
(II) One member representing individuals, either patients or caregivers, with lived experience navigating the behavioral health care system; 
(III) Four representatives of community-based organizations representing communities that experience disproportionate health impacts; 
(IV) One representative of local government representing a municipality; and 
(V) One member representing the Department of Law, the Judicial Branch, or a member of the judiciary. 

(c) The Minority Leader of the Senate shall appoint the following members: 

(I) One member representing school-based health centers; 
(II) One representative of health insurance companies; 
(III) One representative of local government representing a county; and
 (IV) One member representing rural crisis services. 

(d) The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint the following members: 

(I) One member focused on suicide prevention efforts; 
(II) One member representing county sheriffs; 
(III) One member representing individuals, either patients or caregivers, with lived experience navigating the behavioral health care system; and 
(IV) One member representing community mental health centers.   

Here is the link to fill out the form to join the taskforce:
 https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebuxwr0VdhcITJwtc-l9mgdiupqgNFfFZBAcaugkanvR8cCA/viewform