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Feb 15, 2011 7:04 PM by Greg Boyce

Program at Mental Health Institute may close to save money

The Colorado Department of Human Services has proposed closing the Circle Program at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo and the Mountain Star Therapeutic Residential Treatment Program on the department's Fort Logan campus on July 1, 2011.

Closing the Circle Program, a 20-bed mental health and substance abuse treatment program would result in a total savings of $2.2 million.

Closing the 20-bed Mountain Star Therapeutic Residential Child Care Facility located on the Fort Logan campus, would bring a total savings of $1.7 million. 

The combined closures will result in the reduction of 56 full time jobs.

"Difficult budget times like these force an evaluation of what is the core mission of the department and an analysis of whether individuals currently served in state-run programs can be appropriately served in other ways," said CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha in a message to department staff today. He continued, "Both Mountain Star and the Circle Program are very good programs, but they do not provide the inpatient psychiatric level of care that is the core mission of the CDHS mental health institutes."

If approved by the General Assembly, the programs slated for closure would be phased out over the next several months and completely closed by July 1, 2011.

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