Policy & Advocacy

Bills To Know: 2021 Legislative Session

PCMH is working with Colorado legislators to help improve the children’s mental health system. Join us in advocating for change!

An Accountable Behavioral Health System

Senate Bill 19-195 was a bipartisan bill that moved forward a set of programs to better identify child and youth behavioral health needs early in life and tackle the challenges associated with a fragmented behavioral health care system. Due to COVID-19 budget impacts, the state was forced to eliminate funding from the bill’s implementation. Efforts are underway to restore this funding and restart implementation of this important bill.

Funding Status: Restored!

Establish a Behavioral Health Administration

House Bill 21-1097 helps implement the recommendation of the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force to create a single state agency for behavioral health programs. If implemented in a way that integrates Medicaid and the Division of Insurance, this Administration could improve access and quality of behavioral health care and ensure accountability across systems.

Bill Status: Passed House & Senate; Awaiting Governor’s Signature

Support for the Peer Support Workforce

House Bill 21-1021 authorizes the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing to reimburse through Medicaid for behavioral health and substance use disorder services provided by certain eligible peers. This could help expand the behavioral health workforce and recognizes the importance of the care provided by peers.

Bill Status: Under Consideration

Restoring Behavioral Health Funding

Senate Bill 21-137 seeks to restore over $150 million for behavioral health programs that were cut due to COVID-19 budget impacts. The bill includes $2 million to support crisis services for children and youth and a grant program that allows counties to partner with local behavioral health providers to provide better access to services across the state.

Bill Status: Under Consideration in Senate

Expand Transition Planning for High-Risk Individuals

House Bill 21-1130 expands the community transition specialist program which provides much needed transition planning services, such as housing assistance and family supportive services, to individuals discharging from the hospital. This helps prevent rehospitalization and relapse for high-risk individuals.

Bill Status: Passed House & Senate, Awaiting Governor’s Signature

Support Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Efforts

House Bill 21-1119 expands the Office of Suicide Prevention’s efforts beyond solely suicide prevention to include both public health intervention supports and postvention for individuals and communities affected by the aftermath of a suicide attempt.

Bill Status: Passed House & Senate, Awaiting Governor’s Signature

Expand Training for Providers

House Bill 21-1166 increases access to training for providers who work with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health needs. This will ensure better access to evidence-based, appropriate treatment for all Coloradans.

Status: Under Consideration

Provide Secure Transport for Individuals in Crisis

House Bill 21-1085 creates a system to provide secure transport for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis rather than relying on transportation by law enforcement or EMS. The goal is to reduce stigma around behavioral health crises and ensure that individuals are transported safely without unnecessary lights and sirens.

Status: Under Consideration

Designate 988 for Crisis Response Services in Colorado

Senate Bill 21-154 implements federal law that designates 988 as the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide rapid access to suicide prevention and mental health services.

Status: Under Consideration

Get Involved

PCMH aims to create a stronger, more coordinated behavioral health system through stronger, more coordinated advocacy efforts across the state. If you’d like to get involved in this work, please send us an email!
Get in touch

Share Your Story

What’s it like to care for a child with a mental health or substance use disorder? Have you struggled with one yourself? Help us raise awareness about the importance of getting the right services at the right time.