- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

DENVER (AP) - A plan to establish emergency mental health centers around Colorado - a response to mass shootings - will move forward after a court settlement was reached over the bidding process for the project.

Lawmakers previously approved $20 million for the project and hoped the centers would be in place by the beginning of this year.

The state chose Crisis Access of Colorado for the project, but other mental health providers raised questions about bidding. The state revoked the award, and Crisis Access filed a lawsuit.

The state and Crisis Access reached a settlement this week, The Denver Post reported (http://goo.gl/q1ryNp) Wednesday, and a judge lifted a preliminary injunction.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and state health officials called for the centers in late 2012 after the shootings in a movie theater in Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

At the time, Hickenlooper noted that perpetrators of mass shootings often have mental illness. He touted the new plan as a way to try to prevent future tragedies.

The plan was to have four walk-in crisis centers in each quadrant of the state, a 24-hour mental health hotline, and mobile units to travel to rural areas.

The settlement has allowed the state to negotiate with four other providers to establish four centers - one in the Denver area, others in southeast and northeast Colorado, and another in the Western Slope.

Details of the court settlement were not disclosed. Crisis Access is no longer part of the project in Colorado.


Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com



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