• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Colorado youth given access to free mental health therapy thanks to permanent legislation

BySamantha Jones

Apr 2, 2024
House Committee Approves Legislation to Establish I Matter Youth Mental Health Program as Permanent

The House Health & Human Services Committee in Denver, CO has approved legislation sponsored by Representatives Kyle Brown and Manny Rutinel to make the I Matter youth mental health program permanent. The bill, SB24-001, passed by a vote of 9-4.

Representative Kyle Brown expressed pride in carrying this legislation to ensure that Colorado youth have access to no-cost therapy through the I Matter Program. The program has helped over 11,000 kids receive therapeutic services for mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders.

Established in the 2021 legislative session and expanded by HB22-1243, the I Matter program connects youth with licensed mental health therapists for up to six free virtual counseling sessions. This bill seeks to make this program permanent rather than expiring on June 30, 2024.

Representative Manny Rutinel emphasized the importance of passing this bill to continue providing no-cost mental health care services through the I Matter program. He stressed that mental health services should not be limited by a family’s income and this legislation aims to break down barriers that prevent kids from accessing the care they need to learn, grow and thrive.

Since its inception, the I Matter program has served over 11,000 Colorado youth and provided over 50,000 counseling sessions. Additionally, a law passed in 2023 allows school districts to offer mental health screenings in schools to support students’ access to mental health care. As a result of these efforts there has been a significant decrease in youth suicide rates – with a 30 percent decrease compared to previous year according to the Colorado 2023 Kids Count report.

By Samantha Jones

As a content writer at newsnnk.com, I weave words into captivating stories that inform and engage our readers. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to deliver high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am dedicated to providing informative and compelling articles that keep our readers informed and entertained. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

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