Individuals Served

Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans get the mental health services they need from community mental health centers

More than 300,000 Coloradans found support through community mental health centers in 2022. Many of these individuals experience serious mental illness, have co-occurring substance use disorders, may be unhoused, or are in crisis. Community mental health centers are the primary source of behavioral healthcare for these vulnerable populations and also offer wraparound services such as transportation, housing, job training and more.

These individuals are often served by the crisis supports provided by centers seven days a week, 365 days a year. Whether it’s continuous crisis services, homeless outreach, outpatient treatment, residential care, in-home services or school-based care – community mental health centers serve all in need regardless of age, income or insurance status.

CMHC Services

Community mental health centers provide diversity of services for successful treatment.

Centers provide a wide array of services far beyond general therapy or psychiatry. In fact, many of the services best positioned to help an individual stabilize and succeed are provided together with therapy or medication. Here’s a look at the other services centers often provide:

  • Outpatient counseling and psychiatric services
  • Crisis and emergency services
  • Case management and connection to care
  • Withdrawal management services
  • Child, youth, and family services, including in-home and school-based care
  • Residential facilities and/or connections to local housing supports
  • Vocational services
  • Well-being promotion
  • Disaster response

Average Cost Per Client

Colorado’s return on its investment in community mental health centers saves significant additional cost while allowing Coloradans to remain in their own communities for treatment.  

Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans receive mental health treatment and other necessary supports from community mental health centers each day, regardless of where they live. These services are delivered at an average cost of less than $2,000 per client per year.

Services provided in community include immediate crisis intervention as well as ongoing treatments and other wrap-around services that can help to ensure individuals struggling with mental health issues don’t become sicker, costing each individual more time until recovery and the system additional dollars. Upfront investments in this type of infrastructure accessible to all who need it pay dividends in both health outcomes and system costs.

State Funding

Colorado invests in its nonprofit community mental health centers with public funds and private philanthropy.

Colorado taxpayers invest about $500 million annually in community mental health centers to ensure that behavioral health supports are available for our state’s most vulnerable populations. More than half of this comes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements for services provided to low-income individuals. The remainder is “capacity funding” from the Behavioral Health Administration or other state sources for services – such as crisis, housing and others – that must be available on an on-call and as-needed basis. However, these investments do not fully cover the cost of the community-responsive care centers provide. Federal Medicare reimbursements for older adults and people living with disabilities, contracts with local governments for services such as co-responder partnerships with law enforcement, and commercial insurance contracts are important supplements but still do not fill the gap. This means centers must rely on foundation grants and community donations to ensure they are able to meet local needs.