Brittany Pettersen
U.S. Congresswoman | CO-07

ARP: Colorado Invests in More Mental Health Support

Idea Category: Healthcare | Funding Source: American Rescue Plan

The pandemic has put a spotlight on and intensified the mental health crisis in Colorado, like it has all over America. Former Senator Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), chaired a legislative task force on behavioral health. Pettersen’s committee recommended spending federal aid on a variety of behavioral health initiatives, especially targeting those who are most vulnerable, including increasing access to rehabilitation and other inpatient care, and diverting people with behavioral health conditions to care instead of jail. In addition, a segment of the funding will address the needs of Colorado’s Native American populations and of the state’s youth, an issue of particular concern for Pettersen.

Determined to address the issue, Pettersen has highlighted the “unacceptable” and tragic 60 percent increase in suicides among young people. Even before receiving ARP funding, Gov. Polis hired a Behavioral Health Commissioner to help lead the state’s efforts in the area. The federal infusion of funding will “really put meat on the bones” of these programs, according to Polis’ office. ARP funding will allow the state to hire more behavioral health workers, increase the number of beds for behavioral health issues, and support providers, particularly those serving children and youth.

More Idea’s From Brittany Pettersen

Equitable Funding for All Kids

Idea Category: Education | Funding Source: ARP