We believe that the most effective way to improve the mental health of children in Colorado is by utilizing a public/population health approach. As illustrated in the Public Health Pyramid (Frieden, 2010), services for children can range from advocacy and policymaking at the bottom of the pyramid, to prevention programs (most often in schools), mental health services in primary care settings (such as community pediatric practices) as well as in specialty behavioral health settings (such as our hospital’s behavioral health outpatient program), and all the way to tertiary services (such as crisis and inpatient services) at the top of the pyramid. A public health approach emphasizes that services lower down on the pyramid can have a greater impact on more members of the community at a much lower cost per individual served than services at the top of the pyramid. For example, for the cost of one day of inpatient treatment for one child, we could serve the same child with home-based services for two weeks or in an outpatient behavioral health program for twelve weeks. The same investment could provide behavioral health preventive services to an entire classroom for a year.
Judy Reavan, PhD, Professor
Bruno Anthony, PhD, Professor
Sarah Kennedy, PhD, Assistant Professor
Douglas Novins, MD, Professor
Our Division provides fully integrated mental health services for a number of specialty programs at Children’s Hospital Colorado, including programs for Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, neurology, urology, and transplant.
We provide outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization services at Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Highlands Ranch and North Network of Care locations, and via telemedicine. This includes specialty programs in perinatal mental health, stress, anxiety, externalizing problems, mood dysregulation, eating disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
We provide emergency mental health services throughout Children’s Hospital Colorado’s emergency departments and urgent care programs, both in-person and via telemedicine. Our consultation-liaison program serves children with behavioral problems who are receiving inpatient medical-surgical care across the Children’s Hospital Colorado system, including in Colorado Springs. Our inpatient program serves children and adolescents experiencing significant mental health crises and includes a specialty inpatient service for children with neurodevelopmental disorders.