UCHealth, a not-for-profit healthcare system headquartered at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, has announced plans to invest at least $100 million over the next five years in support of efforts to address behavioral health needs in the state and will set aside an additional $25 million to match philanthropic gifts in support of the initiative.
With a focus on earlier detection and treatment of substance use and mood disorders, providing access to new addiction treatments, and removing barriers to treatment by providing the right care at the right time, the investment will support three key initiatives: integrating behavioral health services with primary care; providing tele-health consultation services through UCHealth's Virtual Health Center; and creating a new inpatient behavioral health unit at University of Colorado Hospital.
In addition, UCHealth will provide $25 million to match philanthropic gifts in support of the initiative, boosting the potential total investment in the effort to $150 million. According to UCHealth officials, donors will be able to direct their funds to a specific need, program, or location.
"More than three hundred and eighty thousand Coloradans aren't receiving the mental health care they need, sixty-seven thousand require substance abuse treatment, and on average Colorado loses about a thousand people each year to suicide," said UCHealth president and CEO Elizabeth Concordia. "These numbers show how significant the need is in our state. UCHealth is making this investment to provide comprehensive behavioral health care, and we’re calling on other organizations to join us."
"Attending to our patients' behavioral health needs in a timely manner is critical to their overall health and well-being," said Neill Epperson, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "This comprehensive approach to mental health and substance abuse treatment has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans."
(Photo credit: UCHealth)