Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO), in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU), will develop and expand two programs that together will enhance access to mental health care and improve linguistic responsiveness in mental health services for children and youth in Aurora, Colorado and the broader Denver metro area. The two programs are an Unlicensed Behavioral Health Clinician Pathway Program (Pathway Program) and a Bilingual Salary and Benefit Enhancement Program (Bilingual Program).
The Pathway Program will provide unlicensed psychotherapists with the professional supervision and training required for them to obtain a license—either Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). CHCO will employ these professionals before they become licensed in the state. Additionally, they will be trained in novel, evidence-based treatments that are specifically designed for children, youth and families. For the six behavioral health clinicians in this proposal, they will each see an average of 25 patients per week; in total, these clinicians will have approximately 7,800 patient encounters in one year.
The second component of the proposal is a Bilingual Program that will provide enhanced salaries and benefits for mental health providers and other staff to attain a clinical level of fluency in a second language, with the goal of helping all staff provide better mental health care services. Funds will be spent paying higher salaries and benefits to providers who have attained fluency requirements as demonstrated by testing and supervisory oversight. Eligible providers would include psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioral health clinicians, advanced practice providers and administrative staff. Annually, this would equate to approximately 9,016 visits for faculty and 2,208 visits for trainees per year.