Aspen Hope Center marks two years | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Hope Center marks two years

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The Aspen Hope Center has served more than 1,000 clients since it was founded two years ago to address an unmet need for mental-health services in the community.

The center, which offers suicide-prevention services and other assistance, marked its second anniversary in June. It has provided services to 1,043 clients in the Roaring Fork Valley since its inception.

To date, 70 percent of the calls were from people in crisis or their concerned loved ones, and 30 percent were calls from individuals needing referral to local mental-health therapists.

“Knowing that the Aspen Hope Center has helped more than 1,000 people in just two short years shows that there was definitely a need for this unique program,” Kris Marsh, president and CEO of the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, said in a prepared statement.

Accessibility to affordable, high-quality mental-health services was a priority for the center’s founders, so a phone line was established and marketed heavily. That line, 970-925-5858, is answered 24 hours a day seven days a week, and the caller is connected to a licensed clinician immediately.

In a crisis situation, the caller can be seen immediately by the Mobile Crisis Team for a mental-health assessment. They then may be referred to the Virtual Intensive Outpatient Treatment program where they are seen by a Hope Center clinician and a local mental-health professional daily for a period of time until the person is out of immediate crisis. Often people then continue therapy with a local clinician once or twice a week until their situation is more secure.

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Noting that Aspen has had one of the highest suicide rates in the country, the Hope Center has offered trainings for more than 2,000 residents in the valley to recognize signs of suicidal behavior and learn ways to get a person help before a suicide occurs.

A benefit event for the Hope Center takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the new Nina McLemore Aspen boutique, 611 E. Cooper Ave.

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