• Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Denver Committee Passes Bill to Permanently Fund I Matter Youth Mental Health Program

BySamantha Nguyen

Apr 2, 2024
House Committee Approves Legislation to Establish I Matter Youth Mental Health Program as Permanent

In Denver, CO, the House Health & Human Services Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Representatives Kyle Brown and Manny Rutinel to make the I Matter youth mental health program permanent. The bill, SB24-001, passed by a vote of 9-4. Representative Kyle Brown expressed pride in carrying this legislation to ensure that Colorado youth have access to no-cost therapy through the I Matter Program. The program has helped over 11,000 kids receive therapeutic services for mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders.

Representative Manny Rutinel emphasized the importance of passing this bill to continue providing no-cost mental health care services through the I Matter program. He stressed that mental health services should not be limited by a family’s income and that this legislation aims to break down barriers that prevent kids from accessing the care they need to learn, grow, and thrive. The I Matter program connects youth with licensed mental health therapists for up to six free virtual counseling sessions, and the bill seeks to make this program permanent rather than expiring on June 30, 2024.

The I Matter program was established in the 2021 legislative session and expanded by HB22-1243. Since its inception, it has served over 11,000 Colorado youth and provided over 50,000 counseling sessions. Additionally, a law passed in 2023 allows school districts to offer mental health screenings in schools to support students’ access to mental health care. As a result of these efforts, there has been a significant decrease in youth suicide rates compared to previous years – there was a 30 percent decrease in 2023 compared to the previous year according to the Colorado Kids Count report from 2023.

By Samantha Nguyen

As a content writer at newsqwe.com, I am passionate about crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate our audience. With a background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I strive to deliver content that is not only well-researched but also adds value to our readers' lives. From breaking news stories to in-depth features, I take pride in my ability to tell compelling stories that resonate with our diverse audience. When I'm not typing away at my keyboard, you can find me exploring new cafes, practicing yoga, or getting lost in a good book. I am thrilled to be a part of the newsqwe.com team and look forward to sharing my love for writing with all of our readers.

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