The “I Matter” youth mental health program, which connects Colorado youth with licensed mental health therapists for up to six free virtual counseling sessions, has been made permanent through legislation sponsored by Reps. Kyle Brown and Manny Rutinel. The bill, SB24-001, passed by a vote of 9-4.

Representative Kyle Brown expressed his pride in implementing this legislation to ensure that Colorado youth have access to free therapy through the I Matter program. The program has helped over 11,000 children receive therapeutic services for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and substance use disorders.

Representative Manny Rutinel emphasized the importance of passing this bill to continue providing free mental health services through the I Matter program. He emphasized that mental health services should not be limited by family income, and this bill aims to break down the barriers that prevent children from accessing the care they need to learn, grow and thrive.

Established in the 2021 legislative session and expanded by HB22-1243, the I Matter program has served over 11,000 Colorado youth since its inception, providing over 50,000 counseling sessions. In addition, legislation passed in 2023 allows school districts to offer mental health screenings in schools to support students’ access to health care. As a result, there was a 30 percent decrease in youth suicides in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to the Colorado Kids 2023 report.

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at newspuk.com, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

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