Mental health impacts everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness. That’s equivalent to over 50 million Americans. In Colorado, the percentage of adults living with a mental illness is higher than the national average at 23.2% (roughly 1 in 4 people).
Now more than ever, we all need support to stay balanced, build resilience, and feel mentally and emotionally strong — whether it’s clinical care, social support, or simply practicing self-care.
A different approach to mental health care
For many years, conventional health care systems have siloed mental health and substance use disorder care from physical health. But the reality is, mental health and physical health are connected. A person’s health care should support both.
At Kaiser Permanente, a nonprofit health plan and one of the largest multispecialty physician groups in Colorado, we care for our members’ total health: mind, body, and spirit. Here in Southern Colorado, members can access in-person routine and some specialty care services at 5 medical offices — 3 in Colorado Springs and 2 in Pueblo. Mental health care and substance use disorder treatment and support is available via an array of self-care and wellness resources, including a network of extended mental health affiliated provider options.
Our holistic approach includes a spectrum of care for mental health and substance use disorders that makes treatment more accessible and comprehensive. This includes:
- Self-care apps and resources, including on-demand, text-based emotional support coaching
- Wellness coaching
- 24/7 medical advice by phone
- Mental health screenings at Kaiser Permanente facilities
- Chat online with a mental health specialist
- One-on-one video counseling sessions with a Kaiser Permanente mental health professional or Amwell therapist
- Specialty in person and virtual care from 5,000 mental health therapists or psychiatrists along the Front Range
- Addiction recovery and support
- Urgent and emergency care
- Inpatient care
Signs that someone needs support
Everyone’s experience with mental health issues is different, but there are some general red flags to look out for in yourself and others:
- A change in performance at work or academically (repeatedly showing up late or slipping grades, for example)
- Changes in interactions with loved ones
- Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Fatigue or low energy
- Problems focusing or remembering
- Social isolation
- Changes to your appetite and/or weight
- Thoughts of death or suicide, hopelessness
- Alcohol or drug use or dependence
If you’re worried about your own well-being, Kaiser Permanente offers an online self-assessment through our Find Your Words initiative, which empowers people to ask for help and to speak out about mental health.
Making it easy to start a conversation about mental health
Even if someone feels ready to seek out mental health support, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why Kaiser Permanente makes it easy. Members can talk about mental health concerns with anyone on their Kaiser Permanente care team at any time and access routine mental health care without a referral.
A system that generates results
Cultivating resilience during mental health challenges is key. It starts with having the right tools to cope in positive ways. Kaiser Permanente’s personalized, coordinated approach to mental health care can help lead to better outcomes.
For instance, in 2022, Kaiser Permanente Colorado was the highest-performing commercial plan by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for 43 of approximately 130 effectiveness of care measures.1 Kaiser Permanente’s holistic approach to mental health care helps members make real progress and keep moving in a positive direction.
1. The source for data contained in this publication is Quality Compass® 2022 and is used with the permission of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Quality Compass 2022 includes certain CAHPS data. Any data display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion based on these data is solely that of the authors, and NCQA specifically disclaims responsibility for any such display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion. Quality Compass is a registered trademark of NCQA. CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).