WICHE Mental Health Program Publications


  • National Suicide Prevention Tookit Cover

    This Web-based Toolkit contains information and tools to implement state of the art suicide prevention practices and overcome the significant hurdles this life-saving work faces in primary care practices. The Toolkit is a collaborative project of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE), Mental Health Program. Although the tools are designed with the rural practice in mind, most are quite suitable for use in non-rural settings, as well.

    order a toolkit online now

    Hard copies of the toolkit are available for $25.00 (includes shipping) through WICHE Mental Health Program. A Pocket Guide for Primary Care Professionals is also available for $1 each. It reviews assessment and interventions with potentially suicidal patients and is also included in the toolkit.

    For more information, please contact mentalhealthmail@wiche.edu.



  • Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting: Behavioral Health Funding Study Graphic

    This study examines funding for public behavioral health services in Colorado. A key focus of the study is funding provided by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) for indigent (non-Medicaid) individuals. The study reviews the state systems for providing public behavioral health services, including the funding allocation and reimbursement methodologies utilized by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), OBH, and behavioral health service providers. Funding is analyzed in the context of the impacts of Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act. An in-depth examination of the clinical characteristics of the OBH indigent populations is provided in an attempt to identify any unique or distinct needs of the indigent population in an effort to inform the allocation of state funds for this population.


  • Publication cover

    In February of 2014, the Colorado Department of Human Services’s (CDHS) Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) released a request for proposals (RFP) to conduct a study of existing behavioral health resources in the state of Colorado and to project future needs. The intent of the study was to identify and assess existing state and community resources and to recommend strategic future planning, taking into account the many constituent variables associated with the changing behavioral health care system. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Mental Health Program (WICHE MHP), in partnership with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute (NRI) and Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), formed a team of Colorado and national behavioral health experts to complete this study for OBH. The Colorado OBH Needs Analysis: Current Status, Strategic Positioning, and Future Planning study began in August 2014 and concluded with the final report submission in April 2015. During this time, the project team worked on the 17 specific tasks that were part of the study.

  • Human Services Program Evaluation Publication Cover

    The term “outcome evaluation” has become one of the most popular terms among human service providers and those whose jobs it is to evaluate the impact of human service programs. State and federal legislators, state and federal officials, and private accrediting organizations rarely finish a day without bemoaning the lack of appropriate outcome evaluation data. Almost everyone in the human service field would agree that there is not sufficient information about whether or not most human service programs are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Hard copies are available for purchase by Clicking Here.


  • bhWorkforceColorado.png

    The Colorado Health Foundation and the WICHE Mental Health Program joined forces to produce The Behavioral Healthcare Workforce In Colorado: A Status Report 2010. The report details current behavioral healthcare workforce issues in Colorado and discusses how to capitalize on the existing energy and expertise in the state to develop a more coordinated and focused effort to enhance Colorado’s behavioral healthcare workforce

    Pages: 67 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 2.94 MB
  • assessmentOfTheMentalHealthFundingMarketplace.png
    Working Paper

    The most recent data from the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R) indicate that rural individuals with MH problems are significantly less likely to receive any MH care for their disorder than individuals in urban and suburban areas. The NCS-R also reports that of those patients who do receive mental health care, rural patients are significantly more likely to receive general medical care only and significantly less likely to receive specialty mental health care. Because patients receiving care in the specialty mental health sector are substantially more likely to receive adequate care (45.4%) than patients receiving care in the general medical sector only (12.7%), this indicates that rural individuals are receiving poorer quality care. Reduced access to MH care in rural areas are undoubtedly due to an inadequate supply of MH specialists. Additionally, primary care (PC) providers, who provide the vast majority of MH care to persons living in rural areas, do not have the training necessary to provide evidence based psychotherapy, thus eliminating one of the primary treatment modalities for people with MH problems. The lack of MH specialists in rural areas is likely due to inadequate incentives for these specialists to practice in rural areas. Furthermore, previous research has shown that health plans are more likely to rely on demand side cost containment strategies for rural enrollees than supply side strategies. This may result in rural residents paying more out-of-pocket for mental health services. Additionally, the source of funding for MH services may differ depending on the type of mental illness.

    Pages: 21 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 129 KB
  • alaskanCoreCompetenciesComparisonTool.png

    The Comparison Tool is an aid for reviewing curricula or other competency sets to determine the extent to which they cover the Alaskan Core Competencies for Direct Care Workers in Health & Human Services. Based on the comparisons, those curricula or competencies can then be updated to incorporate the core competencies.