WICHE Mental Health Program Publications



  • Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting: Behavioral Health Funding Study Graphic

    This study examines funding for public behavioral health services in Colorado. A key focus of the study is funding provided by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) for indigent (non-Medicaid) individuals. The study reviews the state systems for providing public behavioral health services, including the funding allocation and reimbursement methodologies utilized by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), OBH, and behavioral health service providers. Funding is analyzed in the context of the impacts of Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act. An in-depth examination of the clinical characteristics of the OBH indigent populations is provided in an attempt to identify any unique or distinct needs of the indigent population in an effort to inform the allocation of state funds for this population.


  • Human Services Program Evaluation Publication Cover

    How to improve your accountability and program effectiveness. The term “outcome evaluation” has become one of the most popular terms among human service providers and those whose jobs it is to evaluate the impact of human service programs. State and federal legislators, state and federal officials, and private accrediting organizations rarely finish a day without bemoaning the lack of appropriate outcome evaluation data. Almost everyone in the human service field would agree that there is not sufficient information about whether or not most human service programs are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

    Copies of Human Services Program Evaluation are available in both Print and Electronic form. Printed copies can be purchased for $15.00 a piece by Clicking Here. Click the 'Download' link above or Here for a free and complete electronic version copy in PDF format.

    Pages: 96 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 2,260 KB


  • bhWorkforceColorado.png

    The Colorado Health Foundation and the WICHE Mental Health Program joined forces to produce The Behavioral Healthcare Workforce In Colorado: A Status Report 2010. The report details current behavioral healthcare workforce issues in Colorado and discusses how to capitalize on the existing energy and expertise in the state to develop a more coordinated and focused effort to enhance Colorado’s behavioral healthcare workforce

    Pages: 67 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 2.94 MB
  • assessmentOfTheMentalHealthFundingMarketplace.png
    Working Paper

    The most recent data from the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R) indicate that rural individuals with MH problems are significantly less likely to receive any MH care for their disorder than individuals in urban and suburban areas. The NCS-R also reports that of those patients who do receive mental health care, rural patients are significantly more likely to receive general medical care only and significantly less likely to receive specialty mental health care. Because patients receiving care in the specialty mental health sector are substantially more likely to receive adequate care (45.4%) than patients receiving care in the general medical sector only (12.7%), this indicates that rural individuals are receiving poorer quality care. Reduced access to MH care in rural areas are undoubtedly due to an inadequate supply of MH specialists. Additionally, primary care (PC) providers, who provide the vast majority of MH care to persons living in rural areas, do not have the training necessary to provide evidence based psychotherapy, thus eliminating one of the primary treatment modalities for people with MH problems. The lack of MH specialists in rural areas is likely due to inadequate incentives for these specialists to practice in rural areas. Furthermore, previous research has shown that health plans are more likely to rely on demand side cost containment strategies for rural enrollees than supply side strategies. This may result in rural residents paying more out-of-pocket for mental health services. Additionally, the source of funding for MH services may differ depending on the type of mental illness.

    Pages: 21 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 129 KB
  • alaskanCoreCompetenciesComparisonTool.png

    The Comparison Tool is an aid for reviewing curricula or other competency sets to determine the extent to which they cover the Alaskan Core Competencies for Direct Care Workers in Health & Human Services. Based on the comparisons, those curricula or competencies can then be updated to incorporate the core competencies.

    Pages: 8 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 175 KB
  • alaskanCoreCompetencies.png

    This publication is designed to guide skill development with direct care workers, who are at times referred to as direct support workers, direct support professionals, paraprofessionals, or technicians. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, in collaboration with the University of Alaska and the State of Alaska Department of Health & Social Services, sponsored the project, which was designed and staffed by the WICHE Mental Health Program and the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce.

    Pages: 32 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 360 KB


  • Colorado Population in Need 2009 cover

    The Colorado Population in Need (COPIN) 2009 generated indicators of unmet need and penetration rates for behavioral health services for low income Coloradans with serious behavioral health disorders (SBHD). SBHD includes children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED), and adults with serious mental illness (SMI), substance use disorders (SUD), and co-occurring disorders (SUD and SMI). Children and adolescents with co-occurring disorders are included with  SED. “Unmet need” is defined as the estimated number of individuals who have a SBHD minus the number of individuals who have accessed services. The difference represents those who “need” but have not accessed any type of behavioral health service. Penetration rates are calculated by dividing by the number of  individuals  utilizing behavioral health services by the number of individuals with a SBHD. This represents the percent of the population in need who have received services and conversely the percent who have not received services. These indictors provide standardized data that may be used to inform policy planning decisions.

    Pages: 72 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 1,357 KB
  • differencesInPrescribingPatterns.png

    The purpose of this research is to examine possible differences in the prescription of psychotropic medications to youths in rural and urban areas. Multiple studies have indicated a dramatic increase in the number of youth being prescribed psychotropic medication over the past 15 to 20 years. For instance, data indicate that the overall annual rate of psychotropic medication use by children increased from 1.4 per 100 persons in 1987 to 3.9 in 1996, with significant increases found in the use rates of stimulants, antidepressants, other psychotropic medications, and polypharmacy of different classes of psychotropic medications. In a later study, rates of visits by youth resulting in a psychotropic prescription increased from 3.4 percent in 1994-1995 to 8.3 percent in 2000-2001, with annual growth rates rapidly accelerating after 1999. These trends were evident for males and females, and also significant across drug classes. Additionally, there appears to be an increase in the percent of visits by youth to outpatient clinics and emergency rooms that include prescriptions for psychotropic medications. Similar trends have been found in other countries.

    Pages: 15 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 165 kb
  • FortneyWorkingPaperYr3Proj2.png
    Working Paper

    This working paper assesses the association between rurality and depression care.

    Pages: 21 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 128 KB
  • addressingSuicidePotential.png

    Depression and suicide are especially relevant today in rural areas because of rapid expansion of the aging population in U.S. rural areas, and the fact that persons 65+ have led in suicide rates since 1970. Rural areas have a higher share of aging residents, with more health problems, and more limited access to health services than urban areas. Additionally, DHHS reports indicate that approximately 20% of U.S. residents aged 55+ have a mental disorder, including depression, which has been shown to be highly related to suicide attempts and completions. Accordingly, the increasing prevalence of older residents in rural areas makes these areas prime candidates for training in suicide-prevention interventions that could be extremely helpful to the principal health care resources in such rural areas – namely, primary health caregivers.

    Pages: 34 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 427 KB
  • McFaulDistanceEducationYr3Proj3WorkingPaper.png

    This paper assesses the needs of rural primary care providers for trraining on mental health issues.

    Pages: 25 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 204 KB
  • AdamsDistanceLearningWorkingPaperYr2Proj3.png
    Working Paper

    The purpose of this project was to develop effective distance learning methods to train rural PCPs in integrated care models for depression using computer based training (“E-Learning”) and materials adapted from the MacArthur Initiative on Depression & Primary Care. Rural was generally defined as a county with a population less than 50,000 people.

    Pages: 10 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 122 KB
  • LINK

    This article, published in the Chronicle for Higher Education, discusses colleges' need for a new approach to serving students with mental-health problems, whose numbers are likely to rise as a result of the economic crisis.

    Pages: 3 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size:
  • FortneyRuralQualityofCareBrief.png

    This brief assesses the association between rurality and the use, type (pharmacotherapy versus psychotherapy), and quality of care among individuals in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey with self-reported depression.

    Pages: 2 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 92 KB