House Advances $90 Million to Improve Access to Mental Health Care, Substance Use Treatment

(Photo by SHVETS production,

The House recently advanced legislation on a preliminary vote to expand access to mental health care and substance use disorder treatment. HB22-1281 was developed based on recommendations from the state’s Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force.

“These federal funds offer us a once in a generation opportunity to expand access to mental health care and substance use disorder treatment,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver. “This legislation provides $90 million for local governments, nonprofits and community-based programs to fill critical gaps in behavioral health care in their communities. With this bill, Colorado’s children, youth and families will have better access to and save money on behavioral health care. I’m proud that a substantial portion of this funding will go directly toward expanding access to substance use disorder treatment across the state.”

“Every community is different, has different circumstances and different needs when it comes to gaps in access to behavioral health care,” said Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora. “The legislation we advanced today makes a $90 million transformational investment to make behavioral health care more accessible and affordable in our state. This bill encourages collaboration and supports local solutions. Importantly, this legislation ensures that funding reaches every corner of our state so that no community is left behind.”

Community Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Gap Grants: HB22-1281 sponsored by Representatives Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Naquetta Ricks, will ensure Coloradans across the state — including children, youth and families — have access to the behavioral health care they need. This bill will invest $90 million in grant funds for local governments and nonprofit organizations to implement innovative, community-based programs with the goal of filling regional gaps across the continuum of care and transforming behavioral health outcomes for families, children and youth living in Colorado. A floor amendment that passed today sets aside at least $15 million of the total $90 million grant funding to prioritize substance use disorder treatment and services.

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