Mental Health and Substance Use Alliance
In 1999 three community agencies – Health District of Northern Larimer County, Poudre Valley Health System and the Larimer Center for Mental Health (now SummitStone Health Partners) – came together seeking changes in the local mental health and substance abuse systems. The Mental Health and Substance Use Alliance of Larimer County has since grown to encompass 53 people representing 35 agencies. Its members include consumer advocates, schools, city and county government, the faith community, the criminal justice system, private therapists, and other local health and human service providers. All are working together to restructure how mental illness and substance use disorder services are provided in our community, making them more effective in helping people who suffer most from these issues.
The Alliance’s 2001 report “Mental Illness and Substance Abuse in Larimer County: The Challenges We Face Today” helped show the way forward, revealing not just challenges, but also significant strengths that the community could build upon in creating a system that was more responsive to consumers.
With funding from a variety of local, state and national sources, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Advancing Colorado’s Mental Health Care Project, the Alliance has made significant progress.