011520-cr-mentalhealth

Jennifer Freitas, with SHG, develops goals for the Teller County Mental Health Alliance.

Energized by a $150,000 grant, Teller County Mental Health Alliance begins 2020 with a newly-hired professional facilitator, Jennifer Freitas.

A project lead with SHG Advisors LLC, a Denver-based strategy and management consulting firm with the tagline “Strategic High-Impact Guidance for Social Change,” Freitas will help organize the alliance to expand mental-health services in Teller County.

“We work with the partners to establish a foundation for success,” Freitas said, speaking at the Jan. 8 alliance meeting.

The alliance began with the grant awarded by Colorado Community Health Alliance to UCHealth Pikes Peak Regional Hospital, Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District and Teller County Public Health.

“We are a bunch of passionate, committed and interested community members in Teller County who recognize that there are a lot of mental health needs throughout the county that, we think, are being unmet,” said Jacque Revello, executive director of public health. “We are trying to identify what our biggest priorities and identify resources.”

As a result, the grant covers the facilitator as well as mental-health providers and nurse practitioners for the ambulance district’s Mental Health Assessment Program, led by James McLaughlin.

The meeting was packed with therapists and representatives of organizations such as Court Appointed Special Advocate, Peak Vista Community Health, Teller County Department of Social Services, Teller Senior Coalition, and Status: Code 4 Inc., founded by Dan Crampton to help First Responders suffering trauma.

Among the alliance’s goals are the development a strategic plan and the establishment a leadership team.

“Enthusiasm counts for a lot,” Freitas said. “I really want your insight and expertise to create an actionable mission and vision statement. I have to know what it is you’re seeing and what’ you’re dealing with.”

The alliance, a collaboration of 22 local agencies, meets at noon the second Wednesday of the month at the hospital, unless otherwise announced.

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