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Celebrating Mental Health Month: Reflecting on the Past, Embracing the Future

A Note From Kiara

Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month across our country. This month also marks an important milestone for us at Jefferson Center as we celebrate our 66th anniversary and look forward to an exciting merger with WellPower. It is profound to reflect on the evolution of our understanding of mental health and well-being and how much has changed across these decades. Mental health has emerged from the shadows of society to be embraced as a critical aspect of overall health and wellness. Through these transformative times, community mental health centers have served as the cornerstone of community-based care, and have played a pivotal role in reshaping perceptions, starting conversations, and increasing access to mental health services for people from every walk of life and especially for those most in need.

The Community Mental Health Act of 1963, signed by President John F. Kennedy, was a visionary step towards establishing community-based care for individuals with mental health conditions. Today, we are closer than ever to realizing this vision through Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC), which are transforming mental health and substance use treatment by providing equitable access to services for all Americans. With nearly $130 million awarded to expand CCBHCs across the country, we are witnessing a significant stride towards investing more resources and support to addressing the mental health crisis and opioid epidemic, delivering targeted and integrated care, and driving positive health outcomes.

Colorado faces unique mental health challenges, with 61% of residents reporting experiences of anxiety, depression, loneliness, or stress within the last year. Shockingly, only 2 out of 5 individuals diagnosed with mental health issues receive treatment, often due to barriers such as stigma or limited access to care. As the number one cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24, suicide underscores the urgent need for comprehensive mental health support in our communities.

As a community mental health center, we are deeply embedded in our communities, focused on continuously understanding the diverse needs of individuals and families and offering a comprehensive array of services to offer people help and support when and where and how they need it. By offering services regardless of one’s ability to pay, we ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and has the opportunity to receive the care they deserve. We believe that each individual has the capacity to thrive, and that individual wellness leads to vibrant and healthy communities.

At Jefferson Center, our commitment to serving the diverse needs of our communities has been unwavering for the past 66 years and we continue to evolve as those needs change. The upcoming merger between Jefferson Center and WellPower represents a transformative moment in our journey. It allows us to combine our strengths, expand our reach, and enhance our ability to meet the growing demand for mental health services in our region. By joining forces, we are better equipped to address complex challenges and to provide compassionate care without barriers.

In honor of Mental Health Month, and as we navigate this period of transformation, I invite you to join us in our commitment to prioritizing mental health and breaking down the stigma and barriers surrounding mental health and substance use challenges. By fostering open dialogues, advocating for change, and supporting organizations like Jefferson Center, we can make an impact in the lives of so many people and build healthier, more connected and resilient communities.

Learn more how you can get involved in celebrating Mental Health Month by visiting our webpage.

Contact Us

Reach out and connect with Jefferson Center today. 

    Getting Started
    Jefferson Center provides client-centered services designed to meet your individual mental health, substance use, and wellness needs. We’re dedicated to meeting you where you are in your journey and working together to help you live a satisfying and hopeful life.

    Emergency & Crisis Services
    • Hotline
    • Walk-in crisis centers
    • Mobile crisis services throughout the state