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Polis announces mental health task force to improve state system 

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  • Jared Polis Campaign

Gov. Jared Polis announced April 8 that Colorado would implement a Behavioral Health Task Force to evaluate and improve the state's system for mental health and substance use treatment.

In a statement, the governor's office noted that Colorado ranks in the bottom quarter of states in many national rankings based on the quality of behavioral health care. "Simply put, we need to do a better job serving those struggling with behavioral health," Polis is quoted as saying."We can and must do better to transform our system for Coloradans living with a behavioral health condition so they can access affordable, high-quality, and patient-centric treatment."

The task force will include up to 25 members who represent health care consumers, state and local agencies, criminal justice experts, advocacy groups and behavioral health specialists. Michelle Barnes, executive director of the state's Department of Human Services, will serve as chair of the task force.

"Colorado's behavioral health system is past due for a new blueprint," she said in the statement. "Coloradans who need access to mental health care should not have to struggle to obtain it."

The task force must develop a "Behavioral Health Blueprint" by June of 2020, and begin implementing recommendations by July of that year.

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