Every May, we honor and celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, which began in 1949. It was started by Mental Health America to raise awareness, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support mental health. Community Mental Health Centers are critical in this movement.
A Brief History
Every community in Colorado is supported by a Community Mental Health Center whose goal is to provide local behavioral health services to its residents. This is possible because in 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA) into law.
This Act led to the establishment of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) throughout the country so that anyone who needed care could receive it. A growing body of evidence at that time demonstrated that mental illnesses could be treated more effectively and in a more cost-effective manner in community settings than in traditional psychiatric hospitals. The CMHA helped people with mental illnesses who were “warehoused” in hospitals and institutions move back into their communities.
Modern Day Community Mental Health
According to the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC), Colorado has 17 Community CMHC.
We work closely with public health, law enforcement, education, and the judicial systems to help those living with a mental health or substance use disorder access care. A core value of the CMHC system is that all individuals deserve access to vital services where they live and work.
What We Offer
In addition to familiar services like individual and group therapy offered by a range of providers, we offer:
- A 24/7 free Crisis and Support Line at 970.252.3200
- A 24/7 Crisis Walk-In Center in Montrose, where no one will be turned away based on their ability to pay
- Co-Responder programs that partner with local law enforcement to offer behavioral healthcare as an alternative to jail or other treatment
- Disaster Behavioral Response Services after a disaster or community crisis
- Free web-based screenings to determine if you might benefit from services
- Free Suicide Prevention trainings such as “Question. Persuade. Refer and Mental Health First Aid”. Visit centermh.org/classes to sign up.
Our Vision is to be the help you need when you need it. Please call 970.252.3200 to make an appointment. If you have a mental health emergency, please contact our 24-hour crisis line at 970.252.6220 or call 911.
May is Mental Health Month
In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, join our 31 Tools to Thrive challenge to focus on your mental health. Learn more at centermh.org/May or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for inspiration.