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Denver is the largest city in Colorado. Home to 634,265 residents1, the city is also the capital of the state. Located just east of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, in Denver County, the city is often referred to as the Mile-High City because it sits exactly one mile (5,280 feet) above sea level. The natural beauty of the city and the surrounding landscape is one of the reasons that John Deutschendorf, Jr. chose to adopt the city’s name as his stage name, John Denver. The city is also home to the Denver Broncos and their famous arena, the Mile-High Stadium.

Mental Health Statistics
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that between 2005 and 2010, 21% of all adult residents in the greater-Denver metropolitan area used some form of illicit drugs. Pain medication was used for nonmedical purposes by 6.6% of county adults, and substance use disorders were reported by 11.9% of all adult residents. Depressive episodes were reported by 7.5% of area residents, occurring in any 12-month time period2. In 2008, Denver county residents reported having an average of 3.3 poor mental health days per month3.3.

Denver Health Serves County and City Mental Health Needs
Denver Health provides healthcare services to residents of the county and city. The facility works with the municipality to offer sliding-scale payment options to low-income clients. The Mental Health Services Team includes more than 20 professional psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurses to assess clients and coordinate treatment plans. Services available include detoxification, therapy, mobile services, crisis care, and emergency services.

The adolescent division of the Mental Health Services Team has a wing designed to accommodate 16 inpatient clients who need treatment for substance use or mental health problems. This division works explicitly with children ranging in age from 12 through 21 and offers outpatient therapy and other services. The Substance Abuse Treatment Education and Prevention (STEP) program extends the inpatient services to the community and provides outpatient services that include substance use treatment and counseling for young people.

Adults can receive the care they need at Denver Health’s 41-bed, adult inpatient hospital or through other substance abuse or mental health programs. Therapists and counselors provide physical, mental, and emotional help using a variety of approaches, including recreational therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, and music therapy, among others.

Because mental illness affects families as well, the Mental Health Services Team coordinates care to ensure all members of the family are receiving the treatment they need. Whether they require family therapy, individual treatment, parenting classes, life skills, or self-care tools, mental health professionals help family members gain access to the right type of help4.

Colorado Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division also provides county and city residents with assistance for their mental health concerns. Community programs include early childhood intervention, family planning, violence prevention, substance abuse treatment, inpatient and outpatient therapy, women-centered mental health programs, behavioral health services, and support for young adults in transition to independence5.

1 U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. (2013). State & County QuickFacts. Retrieved from

2 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2012). National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2005 and 2006 to 2010. Substance Use and Mental Disorders in the Denver – Aurora - Bloomfield MSA. Retrieved from

3 University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs. (2010). Denver Healthy People 2010. Retrieved from

4 Denver Health. (2013). Mental Health and Addiction Treatment for Children, Teens and Adults. Retrieved from

5 Colorado Department of Human Services. (2013). Children, Youth & Family Programs. Retrieved from