We partner with and invest in community organizations to address major social determinants of health, such as homelessness and food insecurity.
Community programs: behavioral health
In Fort Collins, patients who have mental or behavioral health issues receive help from the Community Paramedics Program in collaboration with the Medicaid Accountable Care Collaborative team, which provides help for patients who require complex care. Paramedics provide medical care but also help patients by teaching coping skills, how to properly use resources – appropriate visits to an emergency room or fire department – and greater understanding of their behavioral health needs. Through this program, patients receive proper medical and emotional support and are provided with valuable information about resources available in non-urgent social situations.
Imagine Zero is a coalition of health care professionals, agencies and community members who meet to improve inter-agency communication and coordination of behavioral health services in northern Colorado. UCHealth actively participates in this coalition and, with support from the Colorado Health Foundation, has implemented evidence-based suicide prevention awareness training to employees in our northern Colorado region. The training is being expanded to leaders throughout all UCHealth regions.
The Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation (ED-SAFE) program is part of a national effort to examine the effect of universal screening and intervention on individuals at risk for suicide in an emergency department setting. This resource includes provider tools, a Patient Safety Screener to be administered by ED nursing staff and a Patient Safety Secondary Screener to assess if referral to mental health treatment is warranted. It also includes patient handouts in English and Spanish for self care, how to stay safe and a personal safety plan.
Let’s Talk Colorado
UCHealth participates in Let’s Talk Colorado, a campaign that encourages an open conversation about mental illness. It was developed in collaboration with local health care and community partners so people will be more willing to seek the care they need.