Envision: You Awarded Caring for Denver Grant

Out Front

By Denny Patterson

Envision:You, a Colorado, LGBTQ, mental health and substance use disorder initiative, has been awarded a grant from Caring for Denver Foundation for increasing awareness and availability of affirming and culturally relevant behavioral health services for LGBTQ Denver residents.

The nonprofit will use the $71,589 grant to expand the “How to Have the Talk” campaign and launch its LGBTQ-affirming training for behavioral health therapists.

“We are grateful for Caring for Denver’s support of Envision:You’s mission to support, educate, and empower LGBTQ individuals living with a mental health and substance use disorder,” CEO and co-founder Steven Haden said. “We know that individuals who identify as part of the LGBTQ community are disproportionately affected by mental health and substance misuse. Our programs are rooted in cultural relevance and target to the specific issues that are prevalent in the queer community to increase access care and breakdown barriers.”The “How to Have the Talk” campaign launched in November and is specifically designed for the LGBTQ community to encourage individuals to have tough talks and get help. Resources such as conversation starters and frequently asked questions are aimed to guide a friend or loved one to support someone who is experiencing a behavioral health issue. The grant funds will broaden the reach to the Spanish-speaking community and disseminate the materials at LGBTQ events throughout Denver in 2021.

LGBTQ individuals often experience troubling encounters with mental health providers who do not fully understand or appreciate the concerns that stem from being a part of a marginalized community. To address these needs, Envision:You developed a multi-phase, in-person, and online training program to address implicit and explicit biases that exist among behavioral health practitioners that hinder so many in their recovery process. The grant funds will be used to launch this program and train behavioral therapists throughout Denver in 2021.

Envision:You Launches “How to Have the Talk” Campaign

“We need to do better for those with mental health and substance misuse needs,” Executive Director for Caring for Denver Foundation Lorez Meinhold said. “Envision:You’s innovative and community centered solutions to raise awareness and provide culturally affirming care will make a meaningful difference to the LGBTQ community in Denver.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis, contact Colorado Crisis Services by calling (844) 493-8255, or text TALK to 38255.

For more information on Envision:You, visit their official website.