According to the 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report for children and youth specifically, Colorado ranks 42nd in the country for pediatric mental health when analyzing several indicators including the prevalence of children’s mental illness and access to care.
Many Colorado kids who need mental health services cannot access them. Care is patchy and inconsistent. Providers statewide are unaware of the other services available. This is confusing for families to navigate. Oftentimes they face road block after road block to getting care. Some never receive care.
The Colorado children’s mental health crisis is not due to a lack of expertise, dedication or effort aimed at reform and improvement. There are valuable efforts in progress across Colorado in many state and community systems. Currently, a number of groups are working in a variety of directions, and the result has been gradual progress. However, if we come together with a unified vision, a clear strategy and specific goals, we can create change for the children and families of Colorado.