In the News

In the News

WellPower in the News

Find WellPower (formerly Mental Health Center of Denver) in news media all over Colorado and nationally. Read below for previews of articles, and click on the links to read or watch the original stories.

2022 business goal: Evolve from supporting employee mental health to powering employee well-being

Denver Business Journal | May 13, 2022

Each year, May, Mental Health Awareness Month, rolls around and many businesses renew their commitment to support employee mental health in the workplace. This year, we’d like to encourage employers to go one step further and consider the potential impact of not just supporting employee mental health but in powering employee well-being.

This intentional shift from supporting mental health to empowering well-being is behind Mental Health Center of Denver’s recent name change to WellPower. The change was made to reflect the nonprofit organization’s expanded services and to promote the vital connection between a person’s mental health and overall well-being.

Mental Health Center of Denver rebrands to WellPower

Colorado Politics | May 11, 2022

May is National Mental Health Month, which represents perfect timing for president and chief executive officer Dr. Carl Clark to announce that Mental Health Center of Denver has changed its name to WellPower.

“In 2019, we began exploring a rebranding effort to find a name that better reflects the breadth and depth of our services and promotes the vital connection between a person’s mental health and overall wellbeing,” Clark explained. “While the name Mental Health Center of Denver has worked well for us in the past, it no longer tells people all that we have to offer. So, we updated out brand – our name, our logo, our colors – to better show our values, our culture and our mission.”

A recipe for hope: Sally's Café

9NEWS | March 22, 2022

Jordan Chavez takes us inside the heart of Sally's Café, and introduces us to a woman with a special recipe for hope.

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Mental Health & Compassion Fatigue

Mile High Magazine | March 22, 2022

Clinician Jen Jackson was interviewed by Murphy Houston for Bonneville Radio's Mile High Living show about mental health and compassion fatigue.

Listen to the full story

Compassion fatigue and mental health - Mental Health Center of Denver

FOX31 | March 8, 2022

Cari Ladd talks about compassion fatigue and its impact on our mental health.

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Thousands of calls later, Denver's acclaimed program that provides an alternative to police response is expanding

The Denver Post | February 20, 2022

Since June 2020, the mental health clinicians and paramedics working for Denver's Support Team Assisted Response program have covered hundreds of miles in their white vans responding to 911 calls instead of police officers.

They've responded to reports of people experiencing psychotic breaks and people screaming for no apparent reason. They've helped a woman experiencing homelessness who couldn't find a place to change, so she undressed in an alley. They've helped suicidal people, schizophrenic people, people using drugs. They've handed out water and socks. They've helped connect people to shelter, food and resources.

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Denver's co-responder STAR program is expanding after receiving additional funding

FOX31 | February 16, 2022

An up-and-coming program that sends clinicians and paramedics to lower-level emergency calls has seen enough success in its first couple of years that Denver leaders voted to give them more money to expand through 2022.

Denver's Support Team Assistance Response program started in June of 2020. They currently operate one van that goes out to calls with Denver Health paramedics and mental health clinicians with the Mental Health Center of Denver.

"It's a creative response to the community's growing needs," Chris Richardson with the Mental Health Center of Denver said. Richardson is the director of STAR and has been a part of its inception since a group of Denver stakeholders traveled to Eugene, Oregon to see a local co-responder program in that community.

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'A big step in the right direction': Denver extends STAR alternative policing program citywide

The Gazette | February 14, 2022

Denver is expanding its Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program citywide, providing civilian-led emergency response to low-level, nonviolent situations as an alternative to police.

The expansion comes after the City Council unanimously approved a nearly $1.4 million contract with Mental Health Center of Denver on Monday, funding the STAR program through the end of 2022. Under the contract, Mental Health Center of Denver will provide emergency medical technicians and behavioral health clinicians to staff the program.

"This is an important contract for our community to celebrate," Councilwoman Robin Kniech said Monday. "We have models that work, our challenge is often that they are not to the scale that we need them. … STAR is an example of a program that has worked."

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Denver Expands STAR Program, Resources For Mental Health

CBS4 | February 14, 2022

People in Denver experiencing mental health crises will soon have more help. Denver City Council voted to expand the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program, allowing resources like additional behavioral health professionals to engage with those experiencing homelessness and substance abuse.

The STAR program was created in 2020 as an alternative option for a mental health professional and paramedic to respond to low-level calls instead of a police officer.

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After starting out with just one van, Denver's STAR program will expand to six this year

Denverite | February 14, 2022

The program isn't quite two years old, but the Support Team Assisted Response fleet is set to expand this year as it continues providing an alternative to sending cops to specific emergency calls.

The program, better known as STAR, currently has three vehicles sending a clinician and a paramedic instead of police for 911 responses. It launched as a pilot in June 2020 with just one van, only serving some parts of the city. Last fall, it expanded its coverage area to the entire city, and this year, it aims to have six total vans.

On Monday, the Denver City Council voted unanimously to approve a $1.4 million contract with the Mental Health Center of Denver to continue operating the STAR program and help it expand. The contract runs through December.

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Mental health tips for Valentine's Day

9News | February 10, 2022

Cari Ladd with the Mental Health Center of Denver discusses the importance of relationships and how to avoid disappointment on Valentine's Day. Watch the video on 9News' website.

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Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation announces 2022 9NEWS Leader of the Year finalists

9News | February 7, 2022

9NEWS and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation are proud to announce the three finalists for the 2022 9NEWS Leader of the Year award.

  • Janine Davidson, President, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Michael Niyompong, Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer, Mental Health Center of Denver
  • Lydia Prado, Executive Director, Lifespan Local

This year marks the 22nd year that 9NEWS will honor a Colorado leader for contributions to the community. 9NEWS again partnered with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation to select and honor this individual.

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In Denver's brutal housing market, hitting the voucher lottery might not be enough

The Denver Post | January 27, 2022

It was 12:01 a.m. when an annual ritual for some low-income Denverites began anew.

The Denver Housing Authority opened its lottery for Section 8 housing choice vouchers, the coveted federal benefit that can cover most or all of a lucky applicant's rent.

For the next 48 hours in mid-September, 19,899 people filed online applications for vouchers, authority officials said. Based on budget projections for 2021, each of those applicants has a roughly 6% chance of having their applications pulled.

That's just Step 1 in the long, fraught process for those hoping to find housing in Denver through one of the country's cornerstone programs for housing low-income families and staving off homelessness.

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CVS Health to invest $6.5 million in affordable housing in Denver

Chain Drug Review | January 21, 2022

CVS Health announced Friday it will invest $6.5 million with Boston Financial Investment Management to build a 36-unit permanent supportive housing community, known as Charity's House Place, for individuals experiencing homelessness and people with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities in the Five Points neighborhood in Denver. The investment is part of CVS Health's commitment to advancing health equity and addressing social determinants of health in underserved communities.

"Our commitment to advancing health equity is grounded in our company purpose to bring our heart to every moment of health," said David Casey, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. "By addressing social determinants of health at the community level, like we are in Denver, we're helping people live healthier and creating positive change all around them."

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