The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the behavioral health of many across the state, but especially among the youth. In response, Representative Michaelson Jenet sponsored legislation to create and implement a statewide youth behavioral health program to help. This fall, the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) launched the I Matter program.
“The vision was for it (I Matter) to be rapid and accessible, so families and youth had somewhere to turn for behavioral health support as quickly as possible. And to help link to the statewide crisis system if the need was immediate,” said Jenn Conrad, a DP Board Member and Director of Clinical Services with Signal Behavioral Health Network.
The program is available to all youth in Colorado, ages 18 and younger, regardless of a behavioral health diagnosis. It also serves youth up to the age of 21 if they currently receive Special Education services.
“The I/DD population often experience unique barriers to behavioral health care. The I Matter program is an open-access care delivery model and can provide much-needed supportive counseling to help bridge some of the gaps while awaiting other treatment services or to help connect to ongoing treatment services,” said Jenn Conrad.
Youth and their parents can visit the I Matter website to take a confidential online survey about their mental health. In partnership with OBH, Signal Behavioral Health Network built out the provider network for families to schedule sessions with a licensed behavioral health clinician, primarily via telehealth.
“We have also partnered with a healthcare platform specializing in services for youth, called TeleTeachers. The platform was built with a one-stop-shop mindset which includes a user-friendly behavioral health screening, appointment scheduling, and counseling services. Additionally, it can be used to offer telehealth services for remote behavioral health sessions,” said Jenn Conrad.
If you or someone you know needs help with behavioral help, visit IMatterColorado.org today.