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Throughout Colorado, youth are struggling to access the mental health care they need. In rural areas of the state, barriers to care are even greater. Which is why improving mental health care in the rural areas of Colorado is a focus of PCMH.

Today, there’s just one mental health provider for every 1,282 residents in rural Colorado, compared to one mental health provider for every 755 residents in urban areas.  

Without access to quality care, youth suicide rates are skyrocketing. In El Paso County for example, teen suicide rates recently doubled.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Partners for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH) is spearheading implementation of the PracticeWise Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP) model in rural and frontier practices across Colorado.

PCMH is working to increase access to effective, evidence-based treatment by using the model to equip rural providers with the tools, skills, and support required to respond to mental health needs in their community. 

PracticeWise offers several benefits: 

  • Innovative tools based on local needs
  • Implementation support for treatment programs 
  • Evidence-based decision making 
  • Stronger workforce skills
  • Improved workplace efficiency 
  • Reduced need for subspecialty care
  • Increased patient access to effective treatment 

Two PCMH staff members are completing the MAP trainer development program to help bring this important resource to Colorado’s communities.  

PCMH will pilot PracticeWise in three to four rural practices to understand the feasibility and scalability of offering trainings statewide. If pilot results are positive, PCMH will work to scale the practice model across as many Colorado communities as possible.

If you have questions or would like to get involved in this work, please reach out here.