Children’s Mental Health Policy Summit at Clayton Early Learning

On November 13, nearly 200 health and education professionals gathered at The Historic Clayton Campus for the annual Children’s Mental Health Policy Summit, hosted by The Colorado Children’s Campaign, The Civic Canopy, Children’s Hospital of Colorado, All Kids Covered, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved and Clayton Early Learning.


Children’s mental health is an emerging critical issue in Colorado and the Summit provided an opportunity to both educate attendees on current mental health initiatives in Colorado, as well as to provide an effective forum for discussion and collaboration among the group of stakeholders. 
Following welcome and introductions by All Kids Covered, The Civic Canopy provided a brief overview of the state of children’s mental health challenges in Colorado and presented the Summit panelists who included representatives from Early Childhood Mental Health Plan, Project LAUNCH and LAUNCH Together, Early Childhood Colorado Partnership, Essentials for Childhood, Colorado Opportunity Project and Colorado State Innovation Model.


Following the panel discussion and Q&A, small groups were assembled to identify policy barriers that affect the coordinated mental health system for children and their families. Later, public driving forces for mental health services were examined in effort to establish a strategic approach to collaborative work for children’s mental health advocates. 


The Summit planning committee has collected notes and submissions from event attendees and plans to use this information to guide next steps for both the committee as well as all those who were in attendance. “We need to maximize on the momentum gained at the Summit,” says Clayton Early Learning Policy Specialist, Lauren Heintz. “What’s important is that we use the information and input that was collected to continue to inform policy stakeholders about current issues as well as the actions and initiatives that they can support to move this issue forward. The Summit planning committee is very excited to see so many advocates that are ready to take next steps in enhancing and expanding children’s mental health resources in our state.”


To learn more about the state of children’s mental health services in Colorado and the policy initiatives that could impact how children and families receive support, read “Young Minds Matter: Supporting Children’s Mental Health Through Policy Change” on ColoradoKids.org