Colorado healthcare leaders call for $150M in state funds for youth mental health assistance

A coalition of Colorado healthcare leaders are asking the state for a third — or $150 million — of the remaining $450 million it pledged for mental health needs to be used for those younger than 24 in its "Children and Youth Mental Health Playbook" released Nov. 16.

The coalition includes Children's Hospital Colorado, Healthier Colorado, Partners for Children's Mental Health, Colorado Association for School-based Health Care, the Colorado chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Colorado Education Association.

Those under 24 make up 31 percent of the population in Colorado, which is why the coalition is asking for a third of the funding to go to that age group.

"Government officials at the local, state and federal level have a responsibility, in partnership with families, healthcare providers, advocates and schools, to urgently prioritize mental health policies and funding that will support children, youth and families," the coalition said in the report. 

Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora declared a state of emergency for youth mental health in May.

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