(COLORADO SPRINGS) — In 2022, UCHealth launched the state’s first virtual behavioral health intensive outpatient program (IOP), and since then, out of the dozens of patients that have gone through the program, none have required readmission to the hospital.

May 2023, will mark one year since the program’s launch. The virtual IOP provides intensive treatment for Coloradans who are experiencing debilitating mental health challenges including depression, PTSD, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, substance use, or other major illnesses.

The goal is to ensure vulnerable Coloradans continue to receive high-level therapy and support no matter where they live.

The program includes virtual group therapy sessions for three hours, three times per week, for six to eight weeks. Prior to the implementation of this program, patients would be seen in private, in-person therapy. The virtual group therapy model removes barriers, such as needing to travel a long distance from home multiple times per week, and increases access to what can be life-saving treatments, especially in rural parts of the state where therapy gaps exist. 

“We have developed services for patients based on need. Our program focuses on specific issues and less on general mental health. These specialized groups are hard to find in Colorado, and if you find one, there is generally an extensive waitlist,” said Nancy Burlak, Director of Behavioral Health at UCHealth.

Based on the first year’s success, UCHealth is looking to expand the program with additional therapy options. Patients can be connected to the virtual IOP by their UCHealth provider or they can self-refer. 

To learn more, or to be screened to join the program call (970) 266-4144 or (970) 207-4805.