North Range hosts reception at new counseling center in west Greeley |

North Range hosts reception at new counseling center in west Greeley

Casey Kelly

North Range Behavioral Health is hoping a new counseling center it has opened in west Greeley will help the agency better serve the community with its mental health and substance abuse services.

"The purpose behind this facility and our movement out to west Greeley is really an expansion of our services," North Range Behavioral Health Executive Director Larry Pottorff said during a reception on Thursday. "We recognize there is an increasing need for mental health and substance abuse services and so what we want to do is work to meet that need."

He said the expansion in west Greeley will also allow North Range to better serve its patients in Windsor and western Weld County. The counseling center, located at 7251 W. 20th St., building C, in west Greeley, opened in March.

North Range has been serving Weld County residents with mental health and substance abuse services since 1971.

It employs more than 300 people and operates a total of 20 facilities throughout the county that offer various mental health services to a variety of the county's demographic groups.

Pottorff said with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, two of the essential benefits that health insurance plans must now offer are mental health and substance abuse treatment.

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"We're taking on more insurance business — that's not something we've done a lot of in the past," Pottorff said. "It's not to replace any of the services that we have in the community now. We will continue to do all of the things that we've done."

Colorado Access, a local, nonprofit health plan, announced this week it was awarded two contracts to serve as the behavioral health organization for Weld County, 11 other counties in northeast Colorado and the city and county of Denver.

Pottorff said Colorado Access will oversee Medicaid patients that are served by North Range Behavioral Health in Weld County.

"I think one of the things that we're really trying to accomplish is to let people know that there is help," Pottorff said. "When something is going on in your life or a loved one's life, don't just ignore it. Unfortunately, sometimes we are taught to stuff that down, pull up your bootstraps and get through this. We're here to say that's not the best course."

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