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NAMI's newly renovated office will provide more mental health care access in southeast Colorado Springs

Posted at 10:23 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 00:27:04-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — There is more mental health care access now in some of the most under-served areas in Colorado Springs. The National Alliance On Mental Health, known as NAMI, has a newly renovated space on the Silver Key campus, on the southeast side of the city.

The Executive Director of NAMI, Lori Jarvis said the non profit needed more space in order to help everyone coming through their doors. She said since the pandemic more and more people are reaching out to them for help.

In 2023, NAMI provided mental health support services to over seven thousand people in Colorado Springs. Now with a bigger space they hope to serve even more.

"Historically, it's been a very underserved community. It's been a little bit of a healthcare desert," Jarvis said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says their offices on the southeast side of Colorado Springs is in the best location possible to help the clients they serve most. In 2019, NAMI moved their offices from downtown to the Silver Key Campus near Fountain and Murray Boulevards.

"We knew that we had work to do when it came to reaching communities of color and underserved communities," Jarvis said.

Jarvis said there's a lot of stigma surrounding mental health in certain demographics.

"There's sort of an ethic, I guess, around keeping your business at home and not sharing it broadly. So that's still kind of a mantra in some of those communities, whether it's the African American community or the Hispanic community," Jarvis said.

Jarvis said since the pandemic, the conversation around mental health has become more acceptable.

"If there's a silver lining to the pandemic, I think it's that people are more willing to talk about mental health and mental health challenges more openly," Jarvis said.

She said more people were asking for help, but NAMI did not have the space to do it. But now, after months of renovations, NAMI has expanded its office.

"We just have really upped our game by moving into space, expanding it. We've doubled the space that we were in," Jarvis said.

The new office has rooms like this one, which will provide individuals with more privacy and spaces to meet with peer support groups. The President of Silver Key, Jason Deabueno, said this expansion is a celebration of opportunity to bring more support to people who live in southeast Colorado Springs.

"I'm just so thrilled that we. Have the space to be able to serve more people. The reality is that sometimes it's not just about dollars and cents, it's about what makes sense logistically and to be able to have a space in a place that people can feel that they walk in, they feel comfortable, they feel at home," Deabueno said.

The space is next to another counseling center, Silver Key, Senior Services, and other nonprofits.

Jarvis NAMI and the neighboring non-profits plan on working together to help accommodate the amount of people needing help.

Jarvis said another great resource for mental health, Diversus Health, is also nearby. Diversus Health also helps thousands of people in Colorado Springs get access to mental health resources.

According to Diversus Health, in 2023, they had 12,972 unique patients served. They provided News5 with these statistics.

  • 44% average decrease in trauma symptoms for adult clients completing treatment 
  • 48% Depression improved for adult clients completing treatment 
  • 100% Anxiety disorders improved for adults completing treatment
  • 42% increase in functioning in everyday life *SAMHSA National Outcomes Measure

Jarivs said this year more people are joining their support groups and signing up for educational classes. She said they will be able to hold more courses and meetings in their brand-new community room. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health you can call NAMI at 719-473-8477.

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