Governor to sign critical mental health crisis bill into law

House Assistant Republican Leader Cole Wist – Centennial (HD 37)

The new law marks a major accomplishment for Cole Wist

DENVER—Today, the governor is expected to sign Senate Bill 18-270 into law, enacting one of the most significant mental health bills of the session. The bill, sponsored by Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist (R-Centennial), establishes a crisis management program to help people transition from a 72-hour emergency or involuntary hold into appropriate treatment.

Specifically, the program will connect a person in a hold to transition specialists who can provide services related to housing, program placement, access to behavioral health treatment and other vital support services.

“Emergency mental health holds are a temporary solution for a person in crisis. There must be additional and continuing treatment to achieve success, and this bill will help get Coloradans in crisis the help they need to recover,” said Wist. “As a nation we must come together to address the obvious gaps in our mental health system. Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, and we must do more to slow this epidemic.

“Improving access to quality mental health care is critical, and I know this bill will help save lives.”

In addition to the treatment referrals, the bill requires the Office of Behavioral Health, which will manage the program, to track and include the program’s performance in its respective state department’s annual legislative report.

Senate Bill 18-270 will take effect upon the governor’s signature.