NOTICE: Open Letter to Governor Polis Regarding Behavioral Health


EDITOR’S NOTE: The Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council was mentioned in an article written by Susan Greene, shared recently here in the Daily Post. Sarah Schueler, public relations manager at CBHC, wrote: “We wanted to make sure that you are aware of a letter we recently sent to the governor addressing some concerns raised in the behavioral health system and the means by which we are working to transform the system. . “

December 9, 2021

Dear Governor Jared Polis

CBHC and our member organizations are committed to ensuring that the people of Colorado receive the services they need and that those services are provided in the most efficient, accountable, and transparent manner possible. Recent media coverage has raised serious questions about the current state of the behavioral health system, and we are committed to working collaboratively with state and local government agencies and consumer organizations to aggressively tackle it. to problems.

To this end, CBHC and our members strongly support the proposal to conduct a Behavioral Health System Audit. We are ready to work with the existing Legislative Audit Committee to ensure the people of Colorado are able to receive the care they need and deserve. It is only with a full and objective examination of what works and what does not that constructive change can occur.

We also welcome the creation of the Behavioral Health Authority (BHA). The BHA, with a first-ever cabinet-level Behavioral Health Commissioner, will help improve our behavioral health system. Our hope is that the BHA can help streamline our behavioral health system to make it more efficient, transparent and accountable so that all Coloradans entering the behavioral health system hear the word ‘welcome’ and meet their needs as soon as possible. .

CBHC and our member organizations have several ideas on how we can work together to reduce customer wait times. We shared these proposals with the Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force (BHTTF), chaired by Senator Brittany Pettersen, and with the team from the Office of Behavioral Health. We look forward to working with all interested stakeholders to create a more efficient system with significantly reduced administrative burden.

We also hope to work together to address the workforce crisis that is seriously impacting the ability to provide timely services to the people of Colorado. Within this framework, we must address the salaries of clinicians. We have submitted proposals to BHTTF and JBC to deal with this crisis now and for the future, respectively. Through partnerships with policymakers, we must allocate additional resources to loan repayments and scholarship opportunities for those who wish to advance their careers in this field in order to build a workforce as diverse as the population. she serves.

CBHC is proud of the work CMHC Colorado does and the impact it is having. During the pandemic, they took on the new challenges of COVID-19 whether it was supporting public health, supporting social determinants of health, or working to meet increased demand for directly provided services. by CMHC. We know that these needs have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and that communities cannot rely on CMHCs alone to solve all of these problems.

We look forward to working with you to take the necessary steps to ensure that the behavioral health system can effectively and appropriately meet the needs of all Coloradans.

Doyle Forrestal, CEO
Colorado Behavioral Health Council

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