Below are common questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to call 970.347.2120 if you have questions about our services or whether to seek treatment. Nothing can take the place of a conversation with someone who can guide you to the right answer or resource.
Where can I get information about mental health and mental illness?
There are many resources on the internet and in your library about mental health and specific illnesses. We have provided a few helpful links from reputable sources in Additional Information here. We encourage you to ask questions and discuss any concerns about information you find with your provider.
What is substance use, and how do I know if I’m addicted?
Substance use refers to the use of any legal, recreational or prescription drug. Please click here to learn more about substance use and to examine if you may need our services.
Will I be prescribed medications at my first appointment, and, if not, how soon after my first appointment? Will the person I see be able to prescribe medications?
In almost all cases, a person’s first appointment will be with a therapist or clinician. The purpose of the meeting is primarily information-gathering and assessment. At that time, the therapist will help determine if a referral is needed for a psychiatric evaluation. This assessment may take more than one session. Sometimes, individuals can use various forms of therapy, recovery activities, and other interventions so that medication may not be necessary. If and when the therapist determines that a referral to one of our medical providers is warranted, he or she will make the referral. In most cases, that referral will take anywhere from 2-6 weeks. You are encouraged to speak with your provider about the possibility of using medications to help in your recovery at any time.
Doesn’t medication just cover up my symptoms?
Medications treat the symptoms of mental disorders and although they cannot cure the disorder, they help people feel better. Medications work differently for different people. Some people get great results from medications, needing them only for a short time. People with illnesses that significantly impact their lives may need to take medication for a much longer time. As a result, many people with mental health challenges live fulfilling lives with the help of these medications. Without such medications, some people with mental disorders might suffer serious and disabling symptoms. (Sources: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/medications-treat-disorders and http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/mcabinet/m_mentalillness.html)
Compliments and Complaints
How do I register a compliment or complaint with North Range Behavioral Health about the services I received?
At North Range Behavioral Health, we strive to provide you with best services to help in your recovery. If at any time you would like to let us know what we have done well or provide feedback about areas we could improve, please let us know. Visit our Customer Feedback page for more information.
Is what I say private?
Yes. You have the right to expect your providers and other staff you interact with to maintain confidentiality and keep the information you share with them private. Your provider is not permitted to discuss information you share during your sessions with anyone else, unless you have given them specific permission to do so or they are otherwise required by law.
Sometimes, you may wish to have other people, such as family members, doctors, or other providers be involved in your treatment. In these cases, you will be asked to sign a release of information that indicates you have given us your permission to share information with people and/or agencies of your choice.
Can North Range Behavioral Health receive information from family members? What about sharing information with family members?
Family members sometimes want to share information with the provider about a client, and this is possible whether a release of information is in place or not. However, we are not able to share information about someone receiving services unless he or she has signed a release of information giving us permission to do so, or we are otherwise required by law.
Are there times when North Range Behavioral Health would share my information?
Yes. If you have signed a release of information, you have given us permission to share information with people and/or agencies of your choice. There are also other circumstances in which we would not need your permission as defined by State and Federal case law. Circumstances that are most common include:
- Collection of debt
- Third-party reimbursement (i.e. getting payment from insurance company)
- Defense of malpractice or professional complaint
- If you are a danger to yourself or another person
- Suspicion of abuse of children, elderly, or someone who is mentally or physically handicapped
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a bill signed into United States law in 1996. This federal law “sets rules about who can look at and receive your health information. This law gives you rights over your health information and when it can be shared. It also requires your doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers, and your health plan to explain your rights and how your health information can be used or shared.” More info about HIPAA is available here.
What are my rights as a consumer of your services?
As a customer of North Range Behavioral Health, you are entitled to certain rights. You may access your rights by clicking here. If you have Health First Colorado (Medicaid), you have additional rights. Please see your Health First Colorado (Medicaid) Member Handbook for a list of those rights. If you do not have this handbook, please call 970.347.2120 to request one.
What is the difference between a mental illness and developmental disability?
- A medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.
- Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms and manage symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.
- May affect a person at any time in their life, at any age.
- Affects persons of any level of intelligence, although they may have trouble functioning at a normal level due to the illness.
- Individuals may fluctuate between normal and irrational behavior.
- Mental illnesses can include, but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.
- Caused by a mental or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments.
- Developmental disabilities are not illnesses; they are conditions, and as such, cannot be cured. However, with specialized training, individuals may learn to improve and develop their abilities.
- May be present at birth or occur before the individual reaches age 22. Brain injury can also cause developmental disabilities.
- Individuals have a below average intellectual functioning (standard IQ below 70).
- Individuals can usually be expected to behave rationally at their functional level.
- Developmental disabilities can include several types of conditions including, but not limited to: autism, Down Syndrome, brain injury, Asperger’s Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Where can I find resources about developmental disabilities?
There are many resources available on the internet. Start by checking the resources listed in our Additional Information section under the topic of Developmental Disabilities.
Does North Range Behavioral Health provide services for those with developmental disabilities?
Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, income, language, or ability. Individuals with developmental disabilities, and their families, may experience depression, anxiety, or have difficulties coping. Although North Range Behavioral Health does not provide specialized services for developmental disabilities, we can assist by helping you with coping skills and other supportive approaches. Please call for more information at 970.347.2120.
What should I do if I or someone I know is suicidal?
If you believe the risk is imminent (emergency), contact 911 or the North Range Behavioral Health crisis number, 970.347.2120. For more information, click here.
Is there somewhere I can take a family member who is intoxicated?
If you suspect an overdose from drugs and/or alcohol, call 911 immediately. Yes. We provide safe detoxification services from drugs and alcohol in our detox facility and can refer clients for medical detoxification when necessary. Admittance may be delayed if your family member has any major medical problems or a history of complicated withdrawal. Due to the potential risk, medical clearance from a physician at an emergency room or urgent care facility may be required. (At present, our detox facility is unable to provide services for those who are in withdrawal from benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or methadone.) Detoxification is often the first step in the journey towards recovery. Please call us at 970.347.2120 or visit our facility at 1140 M Street, Greeley, CO 80631 (map).
What should I do if I or someone else is having a crisis or emergency?
If you believe the crisis or emergency requires immediate intervention, contact 911 or the North Range Behavioral Health crisis number, 970.347.2120. Click here to read more about behavioral health emergencies.
What is Colorado Access?
Colorado Access is a nonprofit health plan that provides access to behavioral and physical health services for more than one million people in Colorado. Since 1994, Colorado Access has been on a mission to partner with communities and empower people through access to quality, affordable care. Currently, Colorado Access has programs for people with Medicare, Health First Colorado (Medicaid), and Child Health Plan Plus.
How does North Range Behavioral Health work with Colorado Access?
North Range Behavioral Health is a Colorado Access behavioral health provider. This means that if you have Colorado Access as your health plan, you can receive services at North Range Behavioral Health. We feel that our partnership with Colorado Access helps us provide high-quality treatment that leads to recovery.
How do I get in touch with them?
To find out more about Colorado Access, you can visit their website at coaccess.com, or call 800.511.5010.
Visit our Services page if you think that you or a family member might need help. If you are unsure of what to expect, this page can also answer questions about your first visit.
How do I get help?
Please call us at 970.347.2120 to get help. We will ask you a few questions that will assist us in setting up your first appointment. We will want to know how to get a hold of you, why you are requesting an appointment, and if you have insurance. We will work with you even if you don’t have insurance.
Will my employer find out if I seek treatment for mental health or substance use problems?
In most cases, your employer will not know about your involvement in mental health or substance use treatment. Unless you give them permission to share it with others, all healthcare providers are required to protect and keep your medical information private, unless otherwise required by law. Examples of when your employer may know about treatment may include:
- A worker’s compensation claim: your employer may be informed about elements of your treatment in order to help you return to work.
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): in order to take this protected leave due to a serious health condition, you may be required to provide a complete and sufficient medical certification if your employer requests it.
(Sources: Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
For Parents and Family Members
Does my child/teenager need help?
If you are concerned that your child or teenager may need behavioral health services, please call North Range Behavioral Health at 970.347.2120. To find out more, see additional information at Need Our Services?
Where do I get help for my teenager who is addicted to alcohol and drugs?
North Range Behavioral Health offers a range of services for youth experiencing abuse of and addiction to alcohol and/or drugs. To inquire about these services, please call us at 970.347.2120.
If my child is the one with problems, why do I have to come to therapy too?
You are your child’s best teacher and mentor. Therefore, it’s important that you are involved in the ongoing therapy process too. Change happens more quickly and lasts longer when you are involved in the treatment process. Your family has valued information, and being an active part of your child’s therapy ensures everyone is a part of the planning and solution.
How can I support my family member in treatment?
- Ask your relative or the staff members working with him/her to obtain a release of information if you want to be involved in or informed of the treatment and services.
- Discuss concerns and observations with those treating your relative. If you have concerns or questions about treatment, talk with the therapist or case manager as well as your relative.
- To best help your relative and to keep the family intact, learn about the specific mental illness and/or substance use disorder, and develop coping strategies. Recognize that the situation is extremely stressful for all family members.
- Take care of your own physical and mental health if you are a caregiver.
- Be supportive of your relative to promote hope for the future, but consider the safety and well-being of the whole family and community and set limits on behavior when appropriate.
- Participate in family education and support groups. Click here for resources for information.
- Find and use the many community resources that can help you and your family members.
Are medications necessary to help my child?
Medications may be prescribed for young children when mental, behavioral or emotional symptoms are so severe and persistent that they would have serious negative consequences for the child if left untreated and other interventions alone are not proving effective. Although psychotropic medications affect children differently than adults, medications may be prescribed because the benefits outweigh the risks. Parents will want to ask questions and evaluate with the doctor the benefits and the risks of starting and continuing with medications. Parents need to learn everything they can about the medications and side effects, including which side effects are tolerable and which ones are threatening. Our physicians will work with you and your child to evaluate if changes in diet and activity could positively affect your child’s condition.
Whether or not medications are prescribed, parents are encouraged to learn about, understand and support the goals of a particular treatment (i.e., change in specific behaviors) and to be prepared to follow-up consistently and report observations.
What if I’d like to leave my money to my loved one who is disabled by mental illness?
Families concerned about long-range financial issues should obtain competent legal advice. Leaving an estate in a will could cause the loss of other benefits. A person on SSI or SSDI, for example, cannot receive substantial gifts nor have substantial assets. Financial support beyond subsistence needs can be arranged through a Discretionary or Special Needs Trust Fund, but there are rigid rules. Check with a bank, an attorney or The Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities about a special needs trust.
What if my loved one can’t take care of him-or herself?
If a person is not competent to handle his/her own affairs, legal responsibility for financial and business transactions may be assigned to another person by a civil court. This is called Guardianship-Conservatorship. If you need more information or assistance, legal aid services are available in most communities for people on limited incomes or visit the Guardianship Alliance of Colorado for more information.
What is an involuntary hold? How long does it last?
It may be necessary to take someone incapacitated by mental illness, drugs or alcohol to a facility for professional evaluation and treatment – even if the person is unwilling. This may have to be done to protect that person or others who are threatened by his or her behavior. While difficult for all involved, involuntary treatment can lead to very positive change.
If you think an involuntary hold is necessary, call our 24-hour crisis phone line: 970.347.2120. The on-call crisis counselor will evaluate the situation and explain the options and resources available. If an individual is placed at our Acute Treatment Unit (ATU) on an involuntary basis, they can be held for 72 hours on a Mental Health Hold. A Mental Health Hold can lead to a Mental Health Certification, which can last between 90 and 180 days.
If held involuntarily at our Detoxification Unit, it is considered an Emergency Commitment for up to 5 days. An Involuntary Commitment, for up to 210 days, is also possible; these commitments are decided by the court system. Contact Crisis Stabilization Services at 970.347.2120 for assistance if you wish to pursue this option for a loved one.
Our staff provides ongoing assessment during an individual’s stay to determine if involuntary hospitalization is still needed or to recommend further involuntary/voluntary treatment.
What are Advance Directives?
You have the right to provide advance written instructions to healthcare workers about the type of healthcare you want or do not want if you become so ill or injured that you cannot speak for yourself. These decisions are called Advance Directives. Advance Directives are legal papers you prepare while you are healthy. In Colorado, they include:
- A Medical Durable Power of Attorney. This names a person you trust to make decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
- A Living Will. This tells your doctor what type of life-sustaining procedures you want and do not want.
- A Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive. This is also known as a “Do Not Resuscitate” Order. It tells medical persons not to revive you if your heart and/or lungs stop working.
For more information about this, talk to your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Your PCP will have an Advance Directives form that you can fill out. Your mental health provider will ask you if you have an Advance Directive. You may have a copy placed in your mental health record if you wish. Advance Directives are voluntary, and you are not required to have one to receive services.
If you think your providers are not following your Advance Directive, you can file a complaint. Call or write to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, Colorado 80246-1530
Paying for Care
How do I pay for treatment?
North Range Behavioral Health accepts Health First Colorado (Medicaid), CHP+, Medicare, and other insurance plans. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to find out what your benefits cover; we can also help you determine what coverage you have. You may also pay out of pocket. Those with low income and no insurance may be eligible for reduced fees. Proof of income is required in order to qualify for this sliding fee scale.
How do I find out if I qualify for public assistance programs, such as Health First Colorado (Medicaid)?
To find out if you qualify for public assistance programs, such as Health First Colorado (Medicaid), food assistance, or cash assistance, click here for information on Colorado’s Peak Program. This state website will give you instructions to help you apply for these programs, including locations and phone numbers to call, and application forms you will need to complete. You can also get help with questions regarding enrolling in health insurance at Northern Colorado Health Alliance, My Health Connections.
Is my DUI/DWAI class covered by insurance?
You should plan to pay out of pocket for any DUI/DWAI classes that you attend at North Range Behavioral Health. We do not bill insurance for these courses, and will expect payment the day the service is provided. Your insurance company is not likely to pay for or reimburse required educational classes, but may provide coverage for therapy and treatment.
How will the Affordable Care Act affect how I pay for treatment?
Many individuals may now access health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. You may be eligible for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) under the new system. Insurance plans are required to offer coverage for mental health and substance use treatment, and that means better access to services. If you have questions about enrollment, visit Connect for Health Colorado to review enrollment dates and sign-up for a health insurance plan. You may also contact the North Colorado Health Alliance to make an appointment with a Certified Health Coverage Guide, who will provide impartial and expert assistance to individuals and families seeking health coverage.
How do I know if I’m an alcoholic or have a substance use disorder?
Being open to answering a few questions may be your first step in understanding if you have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. Answer the “Questions to Consider” on our Substance Use and Disorders page.
Can you test my child/teenager for drugs?
Yes. We know it can be frightening, frustrating, and overwhelming when you suspect your child or teenager may be under the influence of drugs. We encourage families to make this decision together, and seek support as a family unit. Parents and legal guardians may request testing at our Crisis Stabilization Services at 1140 M Street, Greeley, CO. (map) No appointment is necessary. For more information, click here.
Where can I find recovery and support groups?
For many people struggling with substance use and addiction, being a part of a group of people with similar experiences can enhance one’s recovery. Knowing you’re not alone and that others have been able to reach their goals is important. To find resources for support groups and other information, go to the Additional Information page, under Substance Use.
If there is a question not answered here, please contact us at 970.347.2120.