Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is announcing an $18.5 million plan to “redesign and strengthen” the state’s mental health system in response to the Aurora shootings in July, the Denver Post reports. Hickenlooper, whose plan would have to be approved by legislators, wants to streamline civil commitment procedures and make mental health records more easily available for gun purchase background checks.
He is calling for a single, statewide mental health crisis hotline and open five, 24-hour urgent mental health care centers. This plan would add capacity for patients in the Denver area by 20 beds and develop two, 15-bed facilities for people transitioning to the community. “I think that we’re looking at figuring out how to expand background checks to all private sales and, you know, extending the time and restriction (on) sales if there are mental health holds.” Hickenlooper told NPR.