Your Healthy Family: What Colorado HB18-1094 means for kids mental health treatment

Posted at 9:59 AM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 11:59:10-04

This legislative session, Colorado passed House Bill 18-1094 that helps children across our state who are in severe mental health crises, in many significant ways.

In this day and age of bitter partisan battles, Heidi Baskfield, the Vice President of Population Health & Advocacy for Children’s Hospital Colorado says, “It’s a massive deal for the legislature to put their stake in the ground and remain committed to providing services for this population in particular, is a significant commitment.”

The population of children and families dealing with complicated mental health issues is a group served by many service providers other than just Children’s Hospital Colorado, but making sure HB18-1094, also known as the Children and Youth Mental Health Act, was a major priority for Children’s Hospital.

Baskfield says, “Had The Child Mental Health Treatment Act not been passed, what would have happened to a family with a child who has complicated mental health needs, and they are recipients of commercial insurance, in order for them to get access to care in places like a residential treatment center, they would literally have had to surrender custody of their child to the state.”

HB18-1094 also works to ensure there are enough resources to meet this critical and growing need in Colorado.

“The Children’s Mental Health Treatment Act is really meant to serve the most complicated kids, and when it was originally passed in 1999 it was serving about 25 to 26 kids a year.  Now we’re serving upwards of 99 and 100. In the community those services could (also) be at an AspenPointe, a Cedar Springs, or a combination of Peak Vista and AspenPointe, depending on the need of the child.”

For more information on HB-1094, you can read the full bill here.