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The I Matter youth mental health program has been a huge success in connecting Colorado youth with licensed mental health therapists for up to six free virtual counseling sessions. This program has helped over 11,000 kids receive therapeutic services for mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. Now, the House Health & Human Services Committee in Denver, CO has approved legislation sponsored by Representatives Kyle Brown and Manny Rutinel to make the I Matter program permanent.

Representative Kyle Brown expressed pride in carrying this legislation to ensure that Colorado youth have access to no-cost therapy through the I Matter Program. The bill passed by a vote of 9-4 and aims to break down barriers that prevent kids from accessing the care they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Representative Manny Rutinel emphasized the importance of passing this bill to continue providing no-cost mental health care services through the I Matter program. He stressed that mental health services should not be limited by a family’s income.

The I Matter program was established in the 2021 legislative session and expanded by HB22-1243. Since its inception, it has served over 11,000 Colorado youth and provided over 50,000 counseling sessions. Additionally, a law passed in 2023 allows school districts to offer mental health screenings in schools to support students’ access to mental health care. As a result of these efforts, there has been a 30 percent decrease in youth suicide in 2023 compared to the previous year according to the Colorado 2023 Kids Count report.

In conclusion, making the I Matter program permanent is an important step towards ensuring that all Colorado youth have access to no-cost therapy for their mental health challenges. With representatives like Kyle Brown and Manny Rutinel advocating for this cause and working tirelessly towards its success, we can continue building a better future for our young people’s mental wellbeing.

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