From the very beginning of our chapter advocacy has been a central part of our mission and goals. Join us and help strengthen our voice!
The COMHCA chapter was born out of necessity when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced us to maintain social distancing. This isolation resulted in many people for the first time to experience high levels of anxiety, financial downturns and compromised mental health and wellbeing. Thus, creating a simultaneous crisis related to both mental health and substance abuse.
In May2021, a few students and mental health professionals reached out to Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, Colorado Senate District 1 and asked him to support healthier minds across the lifespan for all Coloradans. Specifically, we expressed to the senator that:
- All of Colorado’s children deserve a strong start;
- Families should have the support they need.;
- Mental health well-being should be attainable for older adults;
- Coloradans should have access to quality, affordable health care and housing;
- We must reduce the harm caused by drugs and alcohol within our communities;
- Jails and prisons should not be our largest mental health facilities and,
- Mental health discrimination should be a thing of the past.
The senator’s response to our emails was:
“Mental health and how we handle those that suffer from it truly is an issue that needs to be dealt with. I will keep your thoughts in mind as I move forward in dealing with legislation regarding mental health.” -Senator Sonnenberg, 2021
This response gave us the scaffolding to press forward and to follow AMHCA’s mission to
“…advance the profession of clinical mental health counseling by setting the standard for collaboration, advocacy, research, ethical practice, and education/training/professional development.”-AMHCA, 2021