The Colorado Autism Commission and subsequently Colorado Collaborative for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disability Options (CANDO) identified the scarcity of appropriate services for children, youth and adults with these co-occurring needs as one of the most critical service issues in Colorado.
Problems: Numerous national reports have examined the problems associated with inadequate and/or poor quality mental health services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Recommendations almost always center on the need for cross-system collaboration between mental health service providers, developmental disability service systems, and acute health care providers but problems persist. Excessive use of emergency services and psychiatric hospitals (when access to same is available) are only two of the unfortunate results of an uncoordinated system. The toll on individuals, their families and the community can be tragic.
What is needed: A program that strengthens efficiencies and service outcomes for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities with co-occurring mental health conditions and/or behavioral health needs related to their disability.
Colorado advocates and service providers can attest to the need for a program designed to provide seamless linkages among the many elements of community mental health care to avert crises and assure access, appropriateness, and accountability. An effective system would optimize independence, treatment, and community living for individuals with I/DD and behavioral health needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Gap Analysis
Gap Analysis Themes
This video describes the efforts of the CANDO Committee to bring to light the difficulties individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities experience when accessing behavioral or mental health services in Colorado. (14:05 mins)
Senator Pat Steadman's welcome to the regional meetings. (3:07 mins)
Dr. Brian Tallant, Director of Intercept Center, Aurora Mental Health Center shares his views regarding services and what is needed to move Colorado forward. (3:42 mins)
View excerpt from video on North Carolina START (Systematic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Respite, and Treatment Program). Parents of individuals with dual diagnosis who are part of the Gap Analysis effort share their views on the need for services. (5:39 mins)