In Good Health

The Colorado Health Foundation’s blog is designed to share perspectives, personal stories and what we are learning in our efforts to ensure that, across Colorado, each of us can say: “We have all we need to live healthy lives.”

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Listening is one of the most important investments the Colorado Health Foundation makes with our time and resources. It can yield tremendous value because it both broadens and deepens our understanding of how Coloradans’ really think about health. It helps us understand more about the “what” and the “why” of how issues are affecting the health of Coloradans and their families. This is especially important for those who may feel their voices are not often heard, and why listening is reflected in the Foundation’s cornerstones as an essential component of everything we do.

The more we listen, the better we understand what is bringing health closer to or further from reach, and the more important it is to share this

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a grant applicant who shared thoughts about her recent application experience. She told me what was easy about our grants process and what was confusing or complicated. That conversation, along with the responses to a survey and a series of phone interviews, provided lots of great insights into how we can better communicate about our grantmaking.

Here are some key takeaways from what we heard:

  • Conversations with Foundation staff are helpful, but some work on better streamlining the appropriate connections is needed.
  • Ease-of-use in the grant application process was reported by some, but others experienced some challenges.
  • Applicants found the website difficult to navigate and not particularly intuitive.
  • The responsive

A couple days ago, we published our first reflections blog post about this year’s Colorado Health Symposium. That post focused on the affirmations we walked away with as an organization. In this post, we want to share what we learned from the same event.

This year’s conference focused on how to achieve equity by breaking down barriers that negatively impact individuals and families experiencing behavioral health and substance use challenges. And, we learned a lot about what it means to cover such a vast and emotional issue in the span of a few days.

Here are a few of those key takeaways:

“Behavioral health” as a conference topic is too big for a single event.

While we had

In Colorado today, we know that far too many individuals, families and communities are facing behavioral health issues that are often invisible and unspoken due to geographic, cultural, gender and racial barriers.   

Our state is in the throes of a behavioral health crisis. Suicide rates are rising and addiction is rampant in urban, rural and frontier communities.

Across Colorado, we hear and see that having comprehensive and affordable behavioral health services in reach is a pressing need that many go without – from our youngest to oldest residents. And, despite how palpable and unrelenting this issue is, the stigma persists.

The data paint a staggering picture. According to Mental Health America, Colorado ranks 43rd in the nation for mental