50 signatures reached
To: Any resident of RAE 4 (Pueblo & SE Colorado) can help amplify our message!
RAE 4 - We need answers! Prioritize Latinx behavioral health!
a call to action
On August 21, 2022, Servicios de La Raza (Servicios) received news from Health Colorado Inc. that was
very upsetting. Servicios applied for a Fall 2022 Community Reinvestment Grant which was denied. We
recognize that funding was limited and that multiple applications were submitted. We were not so much
upset that the grant was denied, but more about the negative impact on our community’s health and well-being.
Background: Servicios received a substantial grant in the previous grant cycle from Health Colorado Inc (HCI),
with the purpose of standing up a behavioral health and case management services center in Pueblo. HCI
courted Servicios to apply for this funding. Servicios immediately worked to become Medicaid-credentialed in
the HCI catchment area and served thousands of Pueblo’s most vulnerable. All clients were low-income and
needed substance misuse and/or mental health treatment services, to include services in Spanish, as many
community members are monolingual.
Why is this important?
So, what’s the problem?
Though 43.2% of Pueblo’s residents are Hispanic or Latino and 17.8% are living in poverty,
there are little to no affordable and accessible treatment services in Spanish without Servicios
48% of avoidable costs in RAE come from substance misuse
RAE 4 got a D grade in its outpatient treatment planning score per a recent audit
Community waits months to be seen. Servicios see everyone in 14 days or less.
Latinos are the second highest utilizers of illegal substances in Colorado. In some neighborhoods,
drugs are easier to find than healthy meals.
Latino Coloradoans were the second highest utilizers of mental health services in the State representing
25.8% of all those seeking treatment
Root causes to these health inequities include lack of access to bilingual therapists; strong corporate marketing
to target poor and BIPOC communities; fear of institutions; lack of resources for immigrant/migrant and refugee
communities; lack of transportation; language barriers; retention challenges due to experiencing homelessness;
barriers to treatment specific to COVID-19; and stigma.
What happens now: Servicios is funded to continue services in Pueblo until 4/30/2023. Health Colorado Inc
went from funding us with almost $.5M in Cycle 1 to $0 in Cycle 2. Seeing the massive need for the very
services that we expertly provide, we want to know how HCI intends to fill this critical gap in services, and in
a culturally and linguistically responsive manner?
What can you do: Speak up. La raza! Méjicano! Españo! Latino! Chicano! Or whatever we call ourselves,
When it comes to caring for community, money talks. When resources are taken away, it sends a clear message that our needs and our people just don’t matter and are not valued.
Call Christina Brown, the Director of Community Engagement and Transformation at Health Colorado Inc and share your thoughts:
Our loved ones are dying and we cannot “wait on time” and expect things to get better by themselves.