More mental health resources available for unemployed Coloradans through United Way’s 211

Colorado Springs, Colorado (KKTV) – If you or someone you know has struggled with mental health while unemployed, there are now more resources available.

11 News spoke with the Bureau of Behavioral Health and Mile High United Way. Colorado residents who have lost their job can now call 211 to learn more about mental health and substance abuse benefits through their insurance or assistance programs; sign up for Medicaid; and exploring mental health and/or substance abuse treatment in their community, as well as connecting to other social services such as food, housing, and financial assistance.

“Help is available and whether it’s the crisis line or whether it’s 211. We have people on the other end of the phone who want to get the help you need and we know that access to care is a huge need in the Office of Behavioral Health,” said Liz Owens of the Bureau of Behavioral Health.

In June, Governor Jared Polis tasked OBH with contracting 211 Colorado to hire and train staff to provide behavioral health navigation services. The state says we have more jobless people in Colorados than at any time in the past two years during the pandemic, and Colorado’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national average throughout 2021.

“If you’re focusing on your work, your housing, or getting food for your family, it’s really hard to prioritize mental health over that,” Owens said.

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