North Range Behavioral Health, a northern Colorado mental health organization, opened a new, larger location in Frederick on Tuesday.
The 12,000-square-foot facility at 5901 Majestic St. in Frederick — a counseling center offering services including outpatient therapy, psychiatry, individual and group therapy and DUI education and treatment — was completed in late 2019, according to a press release from North Range Behavioral Health.
The organization previously operated for five years out of North Vista Medical Center along Colo. 52, and Administrative Director Kendall Alexander, who oversees counseling centers in a number of northern Colorado cities and towns, said that it eventually became clear that North Range Behavioral Health needed its own building in the area.
“We actually leased that space (in North Vista Medical Center), and about three years into that lease we realized we had really outgrown the space,” said Alexander. “So we’ve actually been planning this expansion and this brand-new build for about two years.”
He added that this new facility is significantly larger.
“So as you can imagine, with the southern area of Weld County … expanding — this whole area continues to grow and expand — we just saw continued need to have a larger presence in the area,” he said.
Alexander said that his new role will be to pinpoint what kind of services the Carbon Valley area is lacking and grow the center accordingly.
“Probably our first focus is going to be crisis behavioral health services,” he said.
North Range Behavioral Health has been offering these kinds of services for some time, he added, including round-the-clock walk-in service in Greeley and a 24/7 hotline.
“But the issue has predominantly been access,” Alexander said. “Our crisis facility runs and operates out of the Greeley area. In order for us to respond to a crisis situation, say, in Fort Lupton or Frederick … we’re looking at, you know, 45 minutes to an hour response time.
“So one of the things we want to do is be a lot more responsive to the … behavioral health crisis needs in this area, and so we want to house crisis services here at our new Carbon Valley location.”
Communication with police and fire departments in the area is a large part of that, as well, he said.
Vincent Atchity, the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, a nonprofit based out of Denver that also provides a statewide crisis hotline, said that there are other barriers to those in relatively rural areas like Carbon Valley. In addition to longer distances to travel, he said, workforce shortages, stigma associated with seeking care and other barriers can pose problems.
“What seems plain to me is that the needs of the population are there, and so it would make sense for an organization to provide another access point,” said Atchity, who, while not intimately familiar with North Range Behavioral Health’s new location, has worked in northern Colorado previously. “… I think that there are a lot of unmet mental health needs, not just in rural areas, but communities of different sizes and types all over the state and country.”