Statewide crisis line up and running

Mental-health tool aims to head off tragedies

Staff report
Posted

Colorado's first-ever statewide mental-health crisis hotline went live on Aug. 12, an effort that state leaders hope will save lives.

The 24/7 Colorado Crisis and Support Line was born from legislation aimed at curbing mental health-related tragedies, including suicide.

Colorado continues to have one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

“We do not want to lose one more person to the tragedy of suicide, gun violence, substance abuse or mental illness,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said through an emailed statement.

The hotline is part of a legislative package that recently became law, which made improvements to services that are provided by the Department of Human Services.

The changes also include more walk-in and mobile crisis services as well as a state-run public information campaign that raises awareness of mental health issues and services.

“Colorado made an unwavering commitment to redesign and strengthen our mental-health service support system, and this is a critical step,” Hickenlooper said.

Callers to the hotline can speak with mental-health professionals at any time of the day. The counselors are available for emotional support and also to provide referrals for mental-health services.

“Mental health is a key component to overall health, wellness, and public safety,” said state Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, who is a physician. “When Coloradans are healthy, the entire state thrives.”

The hotline number is 844-493-TALK (8255).