Colorado Mental Health Center Named National Award Winner For Work in Columbine Community

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from Jefferson Center for Mental Health

    ARVADA, Colo., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- An Arvada, Colorado community
 mental health center has won national recognition for its continuing response
 to the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999.
     The Jefferson Center for Mental Health was named the recipient of the
 National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare's Award of Excellence in
 the Community Crisis Response category.  The award was presented during the
 National Council's annual conference this past Sunday, April 1st in Portland,
 Oregon.
     "Twenty days from today will be the second anniversary of the deadliest
 school shooting in America.  Two years ago .... I have to tell you, that seems
 so long ago, and yet it seems like just yesterday sometimes," stated Dr.
 Harriet Hall, CEO of Jefferson Center, to over 1,000 people in her opening
 speech at the conference.  "I just start to think maybe we are putting it
 behind us and can define what we have called our 'new normalcy,' when it seems
 like something else happens."
     Jefferson Center's response to the shootings at Columbine High School on
 April 20, 1999 began within hours of the incident.  The Center created a
 response team of crisis counselors that included JCMH clinicians and
 volunteers from other mental health agencies.  During the first night
 following the shootings, the team provided more than 165 hours of crisis
 counseling services to students, family members and community residents.
 Jefferson Center's ongoing trauma services continued throughout the next year
 and a half through the Columbine Connections Resource Center (CCRC), and
 Students Helping Others Unite Together Socially (SHOUTS).  As of September
 2000, Jefferson Center had provided mental health treatment services to
 approximately 12,000 individuals in response to the shootings, and continues
 to provide services today.
     "It's wonderful to be recognized for our work and yet somewhat ironic that
 Jefferson Center has received this award right now," commented Marguerite
 McCormack, Director of the Columbine Connections Resource Center (CCRC).  "In
 mid-March, in what was a surprise to the Columbine community, the Colorado
 Legislature's Joint Budget Committee refused to approve the line item of
 $350,000 in the Governor's budget to continue mental health services through
 the summer of 2002."
     On Tuesday, a luncheon was held to honor the staff at Columbine
 Connections and the Columbine area school-based mental health counselors.
 Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas praised the work of Columbine
 Connections and the school counselors and acknowledged that the community
 "would have had a much harder time dealing with the tragedy and other
 difficult events if Columbine Connections hadn't been there."  He went on to
 observe that mental health services for the community continue to be
 "absolutely necessary" and committed to doing whatever he could to ensure that
 funding continued.
     Legislators from the Jefferson County community are attempting to
 reinstate the funding in the state budget.
 
     Jefferson Center for Mental Health is the community mental health center
 serving Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties for over 40 years.
 Jefferson Center offers a continuum of services for all ages with over
 30 convenient locations.  Columbine Connections Resource Center is located in
 south Jefferson County and was developed as an outreach and resource center in
 response to the Columbine High School shootings on April 20,1999.
 
 

SOURCE Jefferson Center for Mental Health
    ARVADA, Colo., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- An Arvada, Colorado community
 mental health center has won national recognition for its continuing response
 to the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999.
     The Jefferson Center for Mental Health was named the recipient of the
 National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare's Award of Excellence in
 the Community Crisis Response category.  The award was presented during the
 National Council's annual conference this past Sunday, April 1st in Portland,
 Oregon.
     "Twenty days from today will be the second anniversary of the deadliest
 school shooting in America.  Two years ago .... I have to tell you, that seems
 so long ago, and yet it seems like just yesterday sometimes," stated Dr.
 Harriet Hall, CEO of Jefferson Center, to over 1,000 people in her opening
 speech at the conference.  "I just start to think maybe we are putting it
 behind us and can define what we have called our 'new normalcy,' when it seems
 like something else happens."
     Jefferson Center's response to the shootings at Columbine High School on
 April 20, 1999 began within hours of the incident.  The Center created a
 response team of crisis counselors that included JCMH clinicians and
 volunteers from other mental health agencies.  During the first night
 following the shootings, the team provided more than 165 hours of crisis
 counseling services to students, family members and community residents.
 Jefferson Center's ongoing trauma services continued throughout the next year
 and a half through the Columbine Connections Resource Center (CCRC), and
 Students Helping Others Unite Together Socially (SHOUTS).  As of September
 2000, Jefferson Center had provided mental health treatment services to
 approximately 12,000 individuals in response to the shootings, and continues
 to provide services today.
     "It's wonderful to be recognized for our work and yet somewhat ironic that
 Jefferson Center has received this award right now," commented Marguerite
 McCormack, Director of the Columbine Connections Resource Center (CCRC).  "In
 mid-March, in what was a surprise to the Columbine community, the Colorado
 Legislature's Joint Budget Committee refused to approve the line item of
 $350,000 in the Governor's budget to continue mental health services through
 the summer of 2002."
     On Tuesday, a luncheon was held to honor the staff at Columbine
 Connections and the Columbine area school-based mental health counselors.
 Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas praised the work of Columbine
 Connections and the school counselors and acknowledged that the community
 "would have had a much harder time dealing with the tragedy and other
 difficult events if Columbine Connections hadn't been there."  He went on to
 observe that mental health services for the community continue to be
 "absolutely necessary" and committed to doing whatever he could to ensure that
 funding continued.
     Legislators from the Jefferson County community are attempting to
 reinstate the funding in the state budget.
 
     Jefferson Center for Mental Health is the community mental health center
 serving Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties for over 40 years.
 Jefferson Center offers a continuum of services for all ages with over
 30 convenient locations.  Columbine Connections Resource Center is located in
 south Jefferson County and was developed as an outreach and resource center in
 response to the Columbine High School shootings on April 20,1999.
 
 SOURCE  Jefferson Center for Mental Health