Colorado Office of Behavioral Health changes name to Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health 


Boram Kim


The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) announced Thursday that the Office of Behavioral Health has changed its name to the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health (OCFMH).


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CDHS said the new name reflects renewed programmatic efforts and continuous person-first care that is evidence-based and trauma-informed. It also aligns with the populations the office serves following the creation and separation of the Behavioral Health Administration. 

The process of coming up with the new name involved gathering input from on-the ground staff to find a designation that made sense, was easy to understand, and was descriptive of the work the office was engaged in. 

“This new name marks a new chapter for our office,” said Leora Joseph, director of OCFMH. “It’s important that our staff and partners feel as though their work is represented and respected. We will continue to rise to challenges together while providing excellent service to our patients. We plan to use the historic funding from the last legislative session to develop innovative solutions to problems that have plagued this office for years.”

CDHS has been focused on decreasing the waitlist for inpatient competency restoration services and developing innovative programs and best practice models of care. The department says the new designation reflects that focus.

OCFMH is in the process of developing its new mission, vision, and values along with strategic priorities over the next 3 to 5 years. The development will be informed by employees and stakeholders. 

Additionally, state designations of mental health “institutes” will be changed to mental health “hospitals.” 

As examples, the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo will now be the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo and likewise, the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan will be called the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Fort Logan.

CDHS said the emphasis of the changes is on helping people heal and reach their full potential through person-first and trauma-informed care.