Rocky Mountain Human Services Launches Program to Help Coloradans
Transition Specialist Program Is Possible Through Contract with Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health
Rocky Mountain Human Services (RMHS), a Denver-based nonprofit, will help people with substance use and behavioral health disorders to transition from various treatment facilities into the community through the new Transition Specialist Program (TSP). The program is funded through a contract with the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health. TSP, which was created as a result of Colorado Senate Bill 18-270, is focused on assisting individuals who have consistent contact with crisis services, such as acute treatment centers or crisis service and withdrawal management facilities, but who have challenges in seeking regular behavioral health treatment. The goal of TSP is to minimize the risks of a person being arrested or readmitted, and to work toward his or her stability in the community. Through a comprehensive, coordinated system, RMHS transition specialists will work with children and adults to identify barriers to a successful transition and create a plan for continued recovery in the community. They will help individuals access resources such as housing, behavioral health treatment, family support services, assistive technology and independent-living skills training. RMHS peer bridgers are an important part of the transition team, providing unique support to clients based on their personal experiences with mental illness and recovery. They work to establish trust with clients and are oftentimes most effective in helping clients progress in their recovery. TSP staff will serve individuals throughout the state with bases in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Grand Junction and Durango. As a mobile workforce, staff will go to clients, traveling to hospitals, crisis centers, withdrawal management centers, emergency departments, and clients’ homes and communities. RMHS was founded in 1992 to provide services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Denver. Over the years, the organization has grown and expanded its work to provide other services. RMHS has more than 250 employees statewide who serve more than 6,000 people a year. TSP builds upon the organization’s strengths in case management and behavioral health. The new program will be part of the RMHS Community Transitions Department, which also operates the Momentum program. Momentum provides the same transition and peer-bridger services to individuals statewide who face barriers in leaving inpatient mental health facilities and hospitals and transitioning to community living. RMHS began operating Momentum in summer 2018. From July 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2018, Momentum served 219 children and adults throughout Colorado. Nearly 80 percent of those individuals were discharged and are successfully living in alternative care facilities or the community. “RMHS has long been known for its expertise in case management and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Denver,” said RMHS Executive Director Shari Repinski. “Now, we are able to bring those skills to help individuals with mental health and substance use issues statewide meet their goals for quality of life. We are proud to be part of the work to make Colorado an inclusive state where everyone can work toward their goals.” The TSP contract began in April and has a maximum term through June 2023. For more information about the RMHS Transition Specialist Program, visit www.rmhumanservices.org/bh.