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The Colorado News Collaborative to which Ark Valley Voice (AVV) belongs has scheduled a Mental Health Safety Net Engagement Event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 17 to which Colorado residents are invited. The event will be live-streamed across the state, and this is your invitation to attend this state-wide conversation.

Over the past several months, AVV has participated in the examination of Colorado’s troubled safety net system, even as the numbers of residents needing mental health services has continued to soar as the state slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has caused the state to establish for the first time a cabinet-level commissioner position, and a state Behavioral Health Department.

The state has been divided into 17 regions for decades (our region is served by Solvista Health, which has just opened a Residential Assessment center ).  Each region has been served by a nonprofit behavioral health center. While some have been meeting the growing needs of residents, others such as MindSpring appear to have run into substantive operational problems that have allowed people to fall through the cracks.

COLab and Colorado Public Radio (CPR) are co-hosting the statewide conversation tonight in person at the Buell Public Media Center in downtown Denver. For rural counties, the entire conversation will be available via live stream.

The distinguished panel, attending both in-person and live-stream) will begin at 5:30 p.m. Susan Greene, who has been reporting on specific instances of behavioral health service gaps, is moderating and Ben Markus will join the panel.

Other panelists include:

Dr. Carl Clark, President and CEO of Mental Health Center of Denver
Russell Goodman, a Coloradan with his own mental health challenges and father of a child who has been denied care
Dr. Morgan Medlock, Behavioral Health Commissioner for the State of Colorado
Tamara Pogue, County Commissioner for Summit County, CO
Lauren Snyder, Vice President for Government Affairs for Mental Health Colorado

The aim of this event is to engage in a live conversation with authorities who have been the subject and sources of the On Edge investigation to explore upcoming reforms and spark conversations about the mental health system within and between communities and their local news outlets across the state.

To register and ask questions during the event follow this QR code:

AVV is sharing the event for readers to live-stream on your website and social media