Colorado Legislation Establishes Initiative to Address Increased Mental Health Concerns in Schools

With $9 million in federal COVID relief funds, Colorado is offering free mental health sessions to children through a new program established by the legislature called I Matter. Students between ages 12 and 18 can go to the I Matter state website to take a short survey to assess their needs. If the results show they need help, the site will connect them to a provider for a 45-minute appointment within two weeks. One of the early questions asks if the young person is in crisis and directs those who answer yes to a crisis line and a more rapid response. Children under age 12 can also use the service but need a parent to do so. Young adults who are receiving special education services can access free support up to age 21.

We are spotlighting this because it is an innovative approach that makes mental health services available for free using technology.

Reviewer Analysis

Learning Heroes

I love this idea! My concern in looking at the website is that adolescents won’t actually complete the full battery of questions. I hope I am wrong though as this seems very promising! - Dr. Eyal Bergman

National Parents Union

This is helpful and important – but what happens to them after the three visits? - Keri Rodrigues

John White

Badly needed, scalable, and creative. It makes a lot of sense, and if it works ostensibly it could be done anywhere.

Leslie Villegas

English learners and their families have been among those most affected by the pandemic and it is critically important to gauge the state of their mental health.

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