Policy & Advocacy

Bills To Know: 2023 Legislative Session

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

Bills Passed

House Bill 23-1003 allows public schools to opt-in and provide a voluntary, standardized mental health assessment to students. Students in need of follow-up will be referred to Colorado Crisis Services or the I Matter program, as appropriate, to ensure timely access to care. This mental health assessment can help identify mental health conditions early and connect children and youth to resources before the need becomes more severe.

House Bill 23-1007 requires public and private institutes of higher education to provide Colorado and national crisis and suicide prevention contact information on student ID cards. This bill increases knowledge of and access to crisis services to ensure that all students have access to the information they need when they face a mental health crisis.

House Bill 23-1009 is a youth-led initiative that creates a committee of students, teachers, school mental health professionals, and parents to study and determine best practices for students who need substance use intervention, referral, and treatment. This report will be publicized and sent to secondary schools to encourage the adoption of these best practices and provide additional access to care for youth.

Senate Bill 23-014 is a youth-led initiative that establishes the Office of Disordered Eating Prevention to maintain a resource bank for research, best practices, and educational resources. The bill also creates the Disordered Eating Prevention Research grant program to provide financial support for research. These efforts can help prevent disordered eating and ensure that individuals get the evidence-based treatment they need.

Senate Bill 23-004 allows schools to hire mental health professionals who are only licensed by the Department of Regulatory Affairs. Under current law, a school mental health professional also needs an additional Department of Education license.

Senate Bill 174 requires Medicaid to cover certain behavioral health services to children and youth under age 21 regardless of the presence of a mental health diagnosis. Services include access to family, group, and individual therapy as well as prevention services, evaluation services, and case management.

Senate Bill 176 prohibits health benefit plans and Medicaid from utilizing the body mass index, ideal body weight, or any other standard requiring an achieved weight when determining medical necessity criteria or appropriate level of care for an individual with a diagnosed eating disorder, except for Anorexia Nervosa. The bill also prohibits a retail establishment from selling, transferring, or otherwise furnishing over-the-counter diet pills to any individual under 18 years of age without a prescription.

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!
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