What's Happening

The Aspen Hope Center hosts, co-sponsors and participates in a continuous variety of events. Check back frequently for updates, schedules and information on current happenings.

Rocking Seva Flow Yoga

Mondays 6 pm – 7:15 pm

Seva Flow Yoga through Shakti Hhala in partnership with Aspen Yoga Society to benefit the Aspen Hope Center.

aspenshakti.com
(970) 925-1655


Classes held at 422 E Cooper Ave in downtown Aspen.


Past Events

  • Ring the Bell at the Bridge 5k
  • Suicide Prevention Kickoff
  • Misconceptions of Grief
  • Autism_trauma
  • PA-14_midsummer

About Us

Our mission is to extend a beacon of hope to those in emotional crisis and offer a continuum of comprehensive care while steadfastly working to decrease the stigma of mental illness through expert clinical care, public education, community collaboration and outreach.

  • Population
    Target Population
  • Area
    Area Served
  • Partnerships
    Partnerships
  • Statistics
    Statistics
  • FAQs
    FAQs

The Aspen Hope Center serves individuals of all ages. Each year the Hope Center averages 600 new crisis clients served.

  • 59% Female
  • 41% Male
  • 12% age 14 and under
  • 24% ages 15-25
  • 22% ages 26-35
  • 17% ages 36-50
  • 24% ages 51-65
  • 1% over age 66

The Aspen Hope Center was formed primarily to serve Pitkin County, yet over time, the services provided have begun to span down valley. Today, approximately 50% of the individuals served are from the mid-valley and lower-valley catchment. Though the Hope Center assists callers with information and referral services when a call is received from outside the valley and even outside the state, the mobile crisis and VIOP services are only provided to those in the immediate Roaring Fork Valley area.

The Aspen Hope Center is proud to partner with organizations throughout Roaring Fork Valley and beyond on a wide variety of projects and events. Click below to learn more about these unique organizations.

There are approximately 38,000 suicides in the United States each year

For every completed suicide, there are about 25 suicide attempts

This is equal to 950,000 suicide attempts nation wide each year

Colorado is always in the top 10 in the country for suicides

Pitkin County averages 4 suicides per year

Per the CDC, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 18-25

Though in children aged 10-14, suicide is only the 7th leading cause of death, this is a 70% increase since 1980

How do I know if someone might be considering suicide?
Look for changes in their behavior: more irritable, more withdrawn, gives away his/her favorite things, changes his/her will or bank accounts, starts drinking or using substances or does these things more frequently than before.
What would push someone to become suicidal?
Every person’s threshold for stress is different, what some people can weather, others cannot. Some people have more support systems or coping strategies that others. Life situations can make people suicidal: divorce or relationship loss, death of loved one, life transitions, financial turmoil/stress, diagnosis of serious illness or medical issue causing loss of activity. Any situation can push individuals to feel overwhelmed, helpless or hopeless.
What do I do if I feel like someone might be at risk for suicide?
Tell them. Express your concerns and try to get them to see a counselor who can appropriately assess his/her risk level. Seek help for them and then provide them with information. Oftentimes people in crisis or in the midst of depression do not have the capacity to seek help on their own. Not because they don’t want to, but they don’t know what to say or where to go. Pride, status, history, many things can be barriers to seeking help.
What do I do if they refuse help?
Continue to express your concerns, continue to ask if they have sought out help. If they express thoughts of death or suicide, call a hotline while with them. If you feel they are in imminent danger, you can always have a welfare check done with law enforcement. This is where a law enforcement officer will visit a home and check on someone who may be at risk for self-harm.
What happens once they see a counselor?
Each assessment focuses on the person’s level of risk and safety. If you can get them to a counselor, a doctor, or hospital, do not leave. HIPAA prohibits many in the mental health profession from breaching confidentiality and hence, have limited capabilities to speak to those who may have valuable information or major concerns. Often, when in the presence of a counselor or doctor, people can become shameful or minimize their pain when they begin to talk. A loved one or friend can help by sharing concerns and perhaps examples of situations that pose danger to the individual. The most important thing to remember is that if you have serious concerns, stick by the person, don’t leave their side.
Population
Target Population

The Aspen Hope Center serves individuals of all ages. Each year the Hope Center averages 600 new crisis clients served.

  • 59% Female
  • 41% Male
  • 12% age 14 and under
  • 24% ages 15-25
  • 22% ages 26-35
  • 17% ages 36-50
  • 24% ages 51-65
  • 1% over age 66
Area
Area Served

The Aspen Hope Center was formed primarily to serve Pitkin County, yet over time, the services provided have begun to span down valley. Today, approximately 50% of the individuals served are from the mid-valley and lower-valley catchment. Though the Hope Center assists callers with information and referral services when a call is received from outside the valley and even outside the state, the mobile crisis and VIOP services are only provided to those in the immediate Roaring Fork Valley area.

Partnerships
Partnerships

The Aspen Hope Center is proud to partner with organizations throughout Roaring Fork Valley and beyond on a wide variety of projects and events. Click below to learn more about these unique organizations.

Statistics
Statistics

There are approximately 38,000 suicides in the United States each year

For every completed suicide, there are about 25 suicide attempts

This is equal to 950,000 suicide attempts nation wide each year

Colorado is always in the top 10 in the country for suicides

Pitkin County averages 4 suicides per year

Per the CDC, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 18-25

Though in children aged 10-14, suicide is only the 7th leading cause of death, this is a 70% increase since 1980

FAQs
FAQs
How do I know if someone might be considering suicide?
Look for changes in their behavior: more irritable, more withdrawn, gives away his/her favorite things, changes his/her will or bank accounts, starts drinking or using substances or does these things more frequently than before.
What would push someone to become suicidal?
Every person’s threshold for stress is different, what some people can weather, others cannot. Some people have more support systems or coping strategies that others. Life situations can make people suicidal: divorce or relationship loss, death of loved one, life transitions, financial turmoil/stress, diagnosis of serious illness or medical issue causing loss of activity. Any situation can push individuals to feel overwhelmed, helpless or hopeless.
What do I do if I feel like someone might be at risk for suicide?
Tell them. Express your concerns and try to get them to see a counselor who can appropriately assess his/her risk level. Seek help for them and then provide them with information. Oftentimes people in crisis or in the midst of depression do not have the capacity to seek help on their own. Not because they don’t want to, but they don’t know what to say or where to go. Pride, status, history, many things can be barriers to seeking help.
What do I do if they refuse help?
Continue to express your concerns, continue to ask if they have sought out help. If they express thoughts of death or suicide, call a hotline while with them. If you feel they are in imminent danger, you can always have a welfare check done with law enforcement. This is where a law enforcement officer will visit a home and check on someone who may be at risk for self-harm.
What happens once they see a counselor?
Each assessment focuses on the person’s level of risk and safety. If you can get them to a counselor, a doctor, or hospital, do not leave. HIPAA prohibits many in the mental health profession from breaching confidentiality and hence, have limited capabilities to speak to those who may have valuable information or major concerns. Often, when in the presence of a counselor or doctor, people can become shameful or minimize their pain when they begin to talk. A loved one or friend can help by sharing concerns and perhaps examples of situations that pose danger to the individual. The most important thing to remember is that if you have serious concerns, stick by the person, don’t leave their side.

Services

The Aspen Hope Center provides a specific array of services that were designed to decrease the stress of navigating the convoluted system of mental health and most importantly, to tighten the reins on the gaps found in the services provided in the valley. Click below for more details.

Education + Support

The Aspen Hope Center provides a wide variety of support services and community classes.

Groups


Classes

Our People

Staff

Michelle Muething
MA, LPC

Executive Director

Tina Olson
M.Ed, LPC

Crisis Clinician and Therapist

Michele Matarazzo
MS, LPC

Crisis Clinician and Psychotherapist

John Medveckis
LPC

Crisis Clinician

Karmen Pittenger
MSW

Crisis Clinician

Andrea Pazdera
LMFT, PhD

School Based Clinician and Therapist


Board

Kelley Purnell
Jill Shore
Michael Buglione
Anders Beier, PhD

Contact Us

970.925.5858  

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Aspen Hope Center
970.925.5858  

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Contact Us
Rocking Seva Flow Yoga ×
Ring the Bell at the Bridge 5k ×
Suicide Prevention Class ×
Misconceptions of Grief ×
Autism_trauma ×
PA-14_midsummer ×
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Mommy Matters

A Social Group for New Moms

Looking for a chance to connect with other moms who've “been there, done that” and will really understand? Join us for Mommy Matters, a social group for new moms and their babies!

Mommy Matters gathers twice a month in Basalt and provides a chance for new mothers from up and down the valley to relax and socialize with other moms and their little ones. Join us for a little downtime and discussion.

  • Share your favorite “tricks of the trade”
  • Laugh about the absurdities that are a normal part of parenthood
  • Get support for those challenging times
  • Discover easily accessible and practical resources for new parents
  • Learn about local, child-friendly activities that are good for baby's development and fun, too!
  • Find answers to those burning questions

Mommy Matters is sponsored by the Aspen Hope Center and is facilitated by Mia Wilson, a licensed psychotherapist.

Mia serves children, teens, adults and parents in her private practice and also works as an early childhood consultant. In addition, she is also a mom!

For more information or to get on the email list, call Mia at 970.618.8660

Cost is by donation and all proceeds support the Aspen Hope Center.

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Life Line Group

You're not alone
970.925.5858

Losing a friend or loved one leaves an empty space in your heart and soul. Our group of individuals have all experienced that loss. In their grief, they have experienced feelings of anger, abandonment, guilt, deep sadness and more. Yet, with support and understanding, they have found Hope.

Come join others who have walked the path you are on. They understand your heartache and will offer support on the road to healing.

The lifeline group meets on a regular basis as well as in times of crisis. If you or someone you know needs support, please call 970.925.5858 for more information and directions.

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Women's Support & Empowerment Group

Empowering women to have strength, courage and confidence.

The Women's Support & Empowerment Group is designed to assist women with addressing the unique issues that they face each day. Janet Gordon, M.Ed LP is a licensed professional counselor who will lead a discussion to ...

  • Connect women with other women to learn and share strategies for easing day-to-day stress
  • Chat about experiences in a safe, supportive and confidential setting
  • Increase confidence

Groups are held Monday evenings in Carbondale 6:30 - 8 pm.

A $10 donation is suggested but not required.

For more information or to register, call the Aspen Hope Center at 970.925.5858 or contact Janet directly at 970.379.4983.

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LGBTQ Teen Group

facilitated by Janet Gordon, Med, LPC


This group is open to teens in the Roaring Fork Valley and will meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at Carbondale Branch Library, from 4:30-6pm.

Educators, professionals and counselors from around the state will be visiting as guests to discuss their paths in life and provide mature, honest discussion that can assist with confusion and self discovery. Teens who attend will chose topics to talk about, projects to work on the in the community and have the safe space needed to learn about others, ask questions and discover who they are inside and out.

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Suicide Prevention

RSVP to 925-5858

A class, built for the community, designed to ...

  • present local, state and national statistics on suicide
  • educate individuals on what to look for in someone who may potentially suicidal
  • teach the powerful, yet simple techniques on how to approach someone
  • use the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale questions to assess risk level
  • gain knowledge on where to taken people in need, how the system works and what is essential to save a life!
September 2
Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs Library
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 9
Carbondale
Carbondale Library
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 16
Aspen
Christian Science Society
734 W. Main Street
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 23
Snowmass Village
Snowmass Chapel
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 30
Basalt
El Jebel Fire Station
1089 J W Drive
5:30 – 7pm
September 2
Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs Library
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 9
Carbondale
Carbondale Library
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 16
Aspen
Christian Science Society
734 W. Main Street
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 23
Snowmass Village
Snowmass Chapel
6:00 – 7:30pm
September 30
Basalt
El Jebel Fire Station
1089 J W Drive
5:30 – 7pm
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Crisis De-escalation

A class designed to help participants ...

  • Know behaviors common to various disorders
  • Learn LOTS of practical ways to deal with psychiatric patients or uncooperative individuals
  • Detect warning signs for those in distress
  • Understand how professional reactions can impact a patient
  • Learn ways to make an environment safe and utilize a team
  • Gain an understanding of how YOU need care

This class is typically arranged for agencies who would like their staff trained in de-escalation techniques. Classes have been taught at Aspen Valley Hospital, RFTA and Valley View Hospital.

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Psychiatric Emergency Training

A training geared toward law enforcement and EMS. This class teaches the basics of behavioral presentations common in psychiatric disorders, the similarities and differences between how a person can present with a medical conditions and a psychiatric condition. First responders are taught about approaching and assessing someone for suicide and scene safety, interagency collaboration and mutual aid is also discussed.

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Dr. Robert Davies

M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Robert Davies graduated from University of Colorado School of Medicine, Boulder in 1989. His areas of specialty include mood and anxiety and he also has a great interest in nontraditional treatments for adolescent substance abuse — including martial arts. Dr. Davies has worked as an instructor at Dartmouth Medical School, Medical College of Pennsylvania and University of Denver to name a few. Currently he is the Associate Director of Medical Student Education in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Colorado School of Medicine. He also serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCDHSC and is the Associate Director of the Psychiatry Residency Training Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Davies has been the Medical Director for the Aspen Hope Center since August of 2011.

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Michelle Muething

MA, LPC

Executive Director

Michelle was one of the first five staff members who helped create the Aspen Hope Center in 2010. She received her MA in Clinical Psychology with a subspecialty in neuropsychology from Western Carolina University in 1999. She has worked as a crisis clinician in various inner city and rural emergency departments, conducted psychological evaluations in Marion County Prison, functioned as Juvenile Coordinator and then Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center in Beaufort, SC and was part of administration as a Corporate Compliance Officer at Fairbanks Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. Michelle also enjoys teaching in the field of psychology and taught at Indiana University for nine years in the Department of Psychology. She is trained in CBT, bio-feedback and in the administration of neuropsychological testing and interpretation. At the Hope Center, Michelle’s clinical role is in providing therapy to patients in the Roaring Fork Neurology clinic in Basalt, covering the crisis line and providing supervision to staff. As an Executive Director she develops programs, composes grants, raises funds, provides education to the community and keeps collaborations strong through constant outreach. Michelle moved to Aspen with her husband and twin boys in the winter of 2009 and has dedicated herself to the Hope Center and has a vested interest in serving the community where she lives.

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Tina Olson

M.Ed, LPC

Crisis Clinician and Therapist

Tina received her M.Ed. in Community Counseling and her M.S, in Elementary Education. She has 30 years’ experience working with youth in a variety of capacities. Tina has been a Guardian Ad Litem working with the courts, she was an advocate working as a crisis counselor at the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo, ND and she worked as a counselor at Minnesota State University in Moorhead, Minnesota. Tina has 10 years’ experience as an emergency foster care provider for adolescents, and has also utilized her degree in education, teaching in a variety of grades in both the private and public school settings. Tina relocated to Aspen in 2010 and worked with YouthZone until this past September when she decided to join the team of the Aspen Hope Center.

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Michele Matarazzo

MS, LPC

Crisis Clinician and Psychotherapist

Michele received her MFT degree from Drexel University in 1995 and she immediately began working as a marriage and family therapist in Philadelphia, PA. From there she was a Senior Therapist at Devereux, then the Director of Outpatient and School Based Mental Health at Devereux Community Services. She worked with patients with Bipolar Disorder at the Learning Opportunities Program in Boston, MA and then taught in the Department of Psychology at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA. Michele came to the Hope Center in the summer of 2011 after leaving Colorado West Community Mental Health as their Clinical Director in Rifle. Michele is trained in EMDR, has a private practice and is a suicide prevention trainer and crisis clinician at the Hope Center.

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Joanne Richardson

Board Treasurer

A native New Yorker, Joanne and her husband settled in Colorado in 1989 after they both earned bachelor's degrees in Emergency Services Systems Management. She has been a certified paramedic since 1985 and became a Coroner's Investigator in Larimer County where she was required to become a certified police officer. Joanne was the Coroner in Summit County for 10 years and earned a Master's Degree in Forensic Science and Investigations. In 2010, she earned a Master's certificate in Grief and Berevement. She retired full time in 2012 and is concentrating on photography, writing fiction, and consulting. She brings a unique perspective to the board.

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Sallie Bernard

Board Secretary

Sallie Bernard has been a board member of the Aspen Hope Center since 2013 and is the Board Secretary. She is the Board President of the James Kirk Bernard Foundation which was established in 2010 to honor the life of her son Jamie Bernard who died from suicide. Sallie is the board president of Extreme Sports Camp, located in the Roaring Fork Valley, which provides outdoor recreation and other positive life experiences for youth and adults across the autism spectrum. Sallie also serves on the boards of Autism Speaks, SafeMinds, and Valley Life For All. She spent over 20 years in the marketing business before devoting herself full time to non-profit work in 2005. Sallie resides in Aspen and enjoys the Colorado outdoors.

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Ana Landa

Ana E. Landa ( J.D.: 1982, University of Miami School of Law; M.P.H.: 2006, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health ) has a broad range of experience advising various companies as corporate counsel and in private commercial law practice. Landa is also involved with public health endeavors in South Florida and Florida International University Stempler College of Public Health in Miami, Florida.

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Sandy Iglehart

Board President

Sandy Iglehart is the Board President of the Aspen Hope Center, which she helped found in 2010 after losing her daughter Courtenay, who died from suicide in 2009. Previously, she was on the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and served for 11 years in Aspen. Her passion to eradicate the shame and stigma surrounding mental health has been a driving force, and continues to fuel her to help others, in honor and memory of her daughter. She is married to Jim, and has two children and three grandchildren living here in this valley. She lives a very active lifestyle and is committed to this community and its well-being.

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Karmen Pittenger

MSW

Crisis Clinician

Karmen moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1988. After working in many non-profits and customer related fields, she moved to Denver to pursue a degree in Social Work. Karmen received her MSW from the University of Denver in 2001.

While pursuing her degree and thereafter, Karmen worked in several residential treatment centers as a milieu supervisor and a treatment coordinator for adolescent males and females. She developed treatment plans, coordinated clinical service delivery, provided assessment, facilitation of groups, and direct treatment services to clients. She also gained experience as a member of a dynamic multidisciplinary team at Colorado’s State Mental Health hospital, as a psychiatric social worker on an acute adult unit.

In Denver, Karmen interned and worked in several different human service positions including a role as a liaison advocate for women and children who were victims of domestic violence, and as a parent aide with a Family Advocacy organization, to provide services that enabled families to approach self-sufficiency.

Karmen returned to the Aspen Valley in 2003, and began working at The Buddy Program as the Director of Youth and Family Services and remained for almost 10 years. Since her return to the Valley, Karmen continues to be a “Buddy” to a young adult woman now for 7 years and going... and she has volunteered as a Horse Handler for Wind Walkers, an equine assisted therapeutic riding program. In 2013 she joined the Hope Center team as a Crisis Clinician and also serves as the part-time Social Worker for Aspen Valley Hospital.

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John Medveckis

LPC

Crisis Clinician

John is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked in the field of Mental Health for more than 15 years. He received his undergraduate degree at Boston College, and his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. John is a Crisis Clinician at The Aspen Hope Center, and also sees clients individually for psychotherapy. He specializes in treating adults struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, chronic illness, major life transitions, grief/loss, trauma and mental illness. John takes an eclectic approach towards psychotherapy recognizing that each client is unique and has individual needs. His theoretical base is insight-oriented which focuses on assisting clients in becoming aware of self-defeating patterns in thought and behavior, with the goal of breaking patterns and moving someone towards a more conscious and healthy life. Trainings include: EMDR, CBT, DBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, Drug and Alcohol Interventions, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness/Meditation.

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24-Hour Hopeline

970.925.5858

The Aspen Hope Center provides a 24-hour confidential Hopeline (925-5858) to ensure that anyone who calls for help reaches an on-call clinician anytime day or night, seven days per week. Having one place to call makes all the difference and the immediate response ensures the person calling receives the appropriate help in a timely manner.

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Individual Counseling

In May of 2013, the Aspen Hope Center began offering therapy services. Three clinicians will see community members at a reduced fee for therapy in the areas of depression, anxiety/panic, substance abuse recovery, and grief/loss. The clinicians have extensive experience in stabilizing high risk clients, working with substance abuse and conducting interventions, helping families and individuals with serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as well as helping guide individuals through serious medical conditions and aiding with end of life transitions. The Hope Center has also secured two Employee Assistance (EAP) Contracts which provide several free sessions to employees at various businesses in the valley, some of these businesses are RFTA, AVH, Aspen School District, Valley View Hospital and more. All Hope Center clinicians carry professional licenses.

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Community Collaborations

There is a shift in health care service delivery toward integrating physical and behavioral health care. Integration of services results in a higher level of success as patients become healthier both physically and mentally. The Hope Center has put this into practice by collaborating with other entities and currently has an on-site clinician at a physician’s office and just completed a pilot program in the Basalt Schools, placing a mental health worker in the schools for prevention services.

Along with the collaborations names above, the Aspen Hope Center also partners with the Youth Recovery Center (YRC) to provide VIOP services to local youth when they are discharged from the inpatient detox program. This provides a step-down in care and allows for a smooth transition back to home. Hope Center clinicians now have hospital privileges at Aspen Valley Hospital and a clinician will be stationed at Roaring Fork High School for the 2013-2014 school year.

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Community Education

The Aspen Hope Center found evidence-based suicide prevention training with Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR). This training is offered throughout the community to local groups, schools, businesses, service organizations, and more. The Hope Center realized the importance of having local trainers; hence 32 individuals were chosen to become Master Trainers from a cross-section of the community.

The Hope Center has also been approached by several entities in the community and asked to provide trainings on various topics. Psychiatric Emergency training has been conducted with law enforcement and EMS, the staff at Mountain Valley Developmental Services was trained in psychological diagnoses and symptoms, and crisis management and de-escalation training was provided to RFTA employees and staff at Valley View Hospital.

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Crisis Intervention & Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program

VIOP

Approximately 76% of the individuals who call the Aspen Hope Center are in a state of crisis. Each person who calls in crisis requires an individualized approach to deal with their particular situation. The Aspen Hope Center clinicians conduct an initial clinical assessment over the phone, and often times they arrange for an in-person evaluation. This is when the crisis team becomes ‘mobile’ and the clinician meets the client at the Aspen Hope Center office or wherever the caller may be at the time. These assessments have taken place in homes or offices, sometimes at local agencies, or at a physician’s office or schools.

If an individual evaluated is deemed high risk, he/she may be entered into the Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (VIOP). This program is an alternative to inpatient hospitalization, where the client may remain in their home with loved ones and friends to support them while receiving specialized, wrap-around services from local practitioners and agencies. During the VIOP, the client is seen daily by several professionals until he/she is stabilized and able to move into regular weekly therapy.

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Information & Referral

970.925.5858

The Aspen Hope Center receives, on average, 24% of its calls from individuals seeking mental health information and/or a referral to a local mental health provider or valley resource. When a client calls for a referral, the Hope Center clinician makes it a priority to connect them with appropriate practitioner or agency from Aspen to Glenwood Springs.

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