Hazelden Betty Ford Expands Children's Program and Behavioral Health Services in Colorado

Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Greenwood Village, Colo. (June 17, 2022) – Colorado is facing the most significant one-year increase in drug overdose deaths in recent memory and escalating mental health needs for adults and children—which makes the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's expansion in the state especially timely and needed. A June 16 ribbon-cutting and open house showcased Hazelden Betty Ford's new location in Greenwood Village, Colorado, and offer an opportunity to meet the nonprofit's skilled team of prevention and behavioral health professionals.

When it comes to the complex and interconnected crises of addiction and mental health, with roots in loneliness and despair, children are often the first hurt and last helped. For nearly 20 years, Hazelden Betty Ford's Children's Program—supported by generous donors such as the Daniels Fund, MaryPat Woodard and the Anschutz Family Foundation—has helped Colorado kids, ages 7 to 12, who are affected by substance use disorder in the family. For children, living with a caregiver experiencing addiction can be a chaotic, scary and lonely experience. Not only do they face the stress and heartache of their parents' drinking or drug use in their daily lives, but they are also at greater risk of eventually developing substance use disorder and mental health problems themselves. During the multi-day Children's Program led by trained counseling staff, children learn to identify and express their feelings, develop coping and self-care skills, deepen communication with their parent or adult caregiver, and recognize they are not alone in navigating the challenges of growing up with an addicted family member. 

Just as importantly, the program provides the opportunity for children to play games, enjoy recreational activities, de-stress and be themselves.

In addition to housing the Children's Program, Hazelden Betty Ford's new site in Greenwood Village is home base for the organization's virtual mental health services and virtual intensive outpatient addiction treatment services—conveniently available to adults throughout Colorado.

"We provide children a language to talk about all kinds of complex experiences like trauma and divorce, but prior to the Children's Program, there was no language for kids to talk about addiction in their families," said child psychiatrist Joseph Lee, MD, president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, was on-hand for the ribbon-cutting. "Now children have that language, and with it, the opportunity to transcend shame into empowerment and healing."

The open house was held on Thursday, June 16, and featured a brief program and ribbon-cutting. The Children's Program staff and virtual services team was joined by Dr. Lee; Vice President and Administrator of the Betty Ford Center Tessa Voss; and Executive Director of the Children's Program Helene Photias; as well as key supporters.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.