Durango, Colo.: Dr. Laura Warner, San Juan Basin Public Health’s (SJBPH) Deputy Director of Operations has been appointed to the Long-Term Competency subcommittee of the Colorado Behavioral Health Taskforce, recently created by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS.) At the direction of Governor Jared Polis, the mission of the task force is to evaluate and set the roadmap to improve the current behavioral health system in the state, with the goal of enabling every Coloradan experiencing behavioral health needs to receive timely, high-quality services in their communities. This includes developing Colorado’s “Behavioral Health Blueprint” by June 2020, for implementation of recommendations starting in July 2020.

Consistent with a recent consent decree entered into by the CDHS, the goal of the Long-Term Competency subcommittee is to develop a comprehensive plan for individuals in the criminal justice system who have been found incompetent to proceed and to find solutions to increase community interventions to reduce demand on forensic solutions to mental health.

Additional subcommittees of the state Behavioral Health Taskforce include the State Safety Net and Children’s Behavioral Health subcommittees.

The Task Force and subcommittee members were chosen based on a variety of qualifications and were carefully reviewed to ensure a fair representation of Coloradans, especially those needing and getting help in the Colorado behavioral health system. CDHS received more than 470 applications for the 100 seats that will comprise the state Task Force and its three subcommittees.