Mental Health Partners Marks 60 Years of Community Service
November kicks off year-long anniversary celebration for the comprehensive provider of community behavioral health services in Boulder and Broomfield counties
LAFAYETTE, Colo., November 15, 2022 – This week, Mental Health Partners (MHP) kicks off a year-long celebration commemorating 60 years of providing client-centered, community-based behavioral health services in Boulder and Broomfield counties, regardless of a person’s insurance status or ability to pay. On November 16, 1962, MHP (then known as the Adult Mental Health Center in Boulder) signed its Articles of Incorporation, with a mission to provide expert, compassionate care to those who would otherwise not be able to access it.
In the early days, MHP was a mental health clinic staffed by a small team of community experts who operated out of the county general hospital on North Broadway in Boulder. The clinic was formed thanks to the collective efforts of a group of dedicated citizens, and it provided services for adults and children as well as an after-care program for clients discharged from mental hospitals. While the organization has grown significantly from its humble grassroots beginning, its core mission remains the same.
Today, the organization reaches over 23,000 individuals each year through direct clinical services, community-based prevention and early intervention, and community training and psychoeducation. MHP employs over 400 mission-focused administrative and mental health professionals – including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and peer support specialists – who operate out of 10 facilities located throughout Boulder and Broomfield counties. Each of these locations are easily accessible via public transit.
“So much has changed in the last 60 years in our community,” said Kristina Hernandez Schostak, Public Information Officer. “In the past six decades, we have helped support our community through the era of JFK and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 2013 floods, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Table Mesa tragedy, the Marshall Fire – and all the progress and obstacles in between. Throughout it all, MHP’s unswerving commitment to serving our community remains rooted in compassion and empathy, and we continue to grow and evolve to support clients who would otherwise be unable to access care.”
Adapting to an ever-evolving environment and incorporating advancements in behavioral health science over the last six decades, MHP has expanded services, opened new and convenient locations, adopted innovative technologies, pioneered programs, and made a commitment to build a future that embodies equitable health and wellness for all.
Major milestones throughout MHP’s 60-year history include:
- 1962. The Adult Mental Health Center in Boulder opens its doors one evening per week and is staffed by one part-time person.
- 1964. The Center receives its non-profit status.
- 1971. The Center is federally designated as a comprehensive community mental health facility and becomes the Mental Health Center of Boulder County, Inc.
- 1972. MHCBC opens its first facility in Longmont.
- 1987. MHCBC opens its first facility in Broomfield.
- 2010. MHP opens an additional Longmont facility: Sherman Wellness Center.
- 2013. MHP’s Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) is awarded a grant to provide support and resources to individuals and families in Boulder and Broomfield counties impacted by catastrophic flooding.
- 2014. MHP opens the Ryan Wellness Center in downtown Boulder, showcasing the organization’s commitment to whole-person, integrated health.
- 2016. MHP opens its Lafayette location to house the Coal Creek Clinic, Moving Beyond Trauma (MBT), Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), and administrative offices.
- 2016. MHP becomes a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a national network of behavioral health care providers, universities, hospitals, researchers, and community members committed to advancing high-quality prevention and intervention for children and families who have experienced any type of trauma.
- 2018. MHP becomes an attested Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), the first in Colorado to achieve this “gold standard” in the delivery of mental health and addiction recovery care.
- 2018. Moving Beyond Trauma (MBT), a program of MHP, is joined by Fievel the facility dog – the first facility dog at a community mental health center in Colorado.
- 2018. Gov. Jon Hickenlooper names Mental Health Partners a ‘health care innovator’ in Colorado.
- 2020. MHP’s Colorado Spirit CCP is awarded a grant to provide support and resources to individuals and families in Boulder and Broomfield counties impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 2021. MHP moves into its new Broomfield location at 897 HWY 287, and launches an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) to provide cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma-informed care for adults and adolescents experiencing high levels of anxiety.
- 2021. MHP partners with King Soopers to open the #BoulderStrong Resource Center to support the needs of associates, families, survivors, and the community affected by the Boulder, CO supermarket tragedy.
- 2022. MHP’s Colorado Spirit CCP is awarded a grant to provide support and resources to individuals and families in Boulder and Broomfield counties impacted by the Marshall Fire.
- 2022. MHP opens a location in Nederland, in partnership with Clinica Family Health, to improve access to integrated, whole-person care in rural mountain communities.
In addition to being the only comprehensive community mental health provider serving Boulder and Broomfield counties, MHP has become nationally recognized as a leader and innovator in community mental health. In July 2022, co-CEOs Dixie Casford and Jennifer Leosz were honored to represent MHP and the Boulder community at the White House for the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – an historic $13 billion investment in mental health, school safety, and state-led crisis intervention programs with nationwide impact.
“By leveraging key community partnerships with local schools, healthcare clinics, nonprofits, local businesses, and agencies, MHP is able to deliver integrated, whole-person services to our community and meet people where they are,” said Schostak. “Many of our clients have high-acuity levels. What’s more, we directly witness the mental health impact of minoritization on those from under-resourced and underrepresented communities. MHP is uniquely positioned to provide the level of care and whole-person support these members of our community need.”
Many clients served at MHP experience acute and complex challenges with social determinants of health, including low income, homelessness, food insecurity, employment, education, access to transportation, and reliable internet access. MHP strives to help clients navigate all of these complex challenges to foster long-term recovery and resilience, while also working with community partners to reduce systemic barriers and create a community infrastructure that facilitates equitable population health.
“As we celebrate 60 years of service, we also take a moment to reflect on our journey alongside our community,” said Schostak. “For MHP, this is not only a time for us to honor the past and recognize the powerful impact of those who paved the way, but also an opportunity to continue to expand upon this important work for the next 60 years. In that spirit, we invite the public to join us in continuing the conversation about community mental health yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”
Over the next 12 months, MHP will be announcing various opportunities to celebrate with the organization and contribute to community mental health through special events, trainings, and offerings. To stay informed, follow MHP on social media (@MentalHealthPartnersCO) and subscribe to their monthly Community Update e-newsletter.
About Mental Health Partners
Mental Health Partners is a federally designated comprehensive community mental health center serving clients across Boulder and Broomfield counties as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since opening in Boulder in 1962, MHP has expanded to multiple communities (including Lafayette, Longmont, Broomfield and, most recently, Nederland) to meet the region’s growing mental health needs and better accomplish its mission — Healing is our purpose. Help is our promise. Health is our passion.