Behavioral Health Equity Corps

Behavioral Health Equity Corps


The Behavioral Health Equity Corps (BHEC) (formerly AmeriCorps VISTA Community Opioid Response Program) is a statewide initiative utilizing members to support local communities by implementing strategies to reduce the impact of substance misuse and overdose, increasing the accessibility to behavioral healthcare, and outreaching to some of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations. 20 VISTA Members and 4 Leaders will serve inside CNCS’s priority areas of Access to Care and Healthy Futures to build capacity, expand reach, and leverage resources to benefit local community organizations.

Goals and Performance Measures

Each member will:

  • Work with 5 community organizations to provide capacity building services.
  • Have 3 community organizations report an increase in capacity
  • Train 50 Community Members on local, low-cost services LGBTQ+ friendly providers, MAT Providers, and insurance companies that prioritize substance misuse care, behavioral health, and LGBTQ+ care
  • Train 10 Community Members on using an interactive, engaging lesson to educate and empower teens about substance misuse
  • Train 10 Community Members on how to teach others to identify and respond to an opioid overdose
  • Track and increase the number of law enforcement personnel engaged in local community coalitions by 3
  • Expand and strengthen partnerships and networks
  • Expand scale and reach to increase community awareness and program engagement
  • Build capacity for financial resources
  • Expand technology use
  • Build volunteer recruitment and management systems capacity
  • Develop programs and increasing delivery capacity
  • Expand outreach participant capacity


COVID-19 Information

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has released the following information with regards to the COVID-19 situation.

CNCS is granting temporary exceptions to three VISTA policies, to best support VISTA members and projects during this unprecedented time:

  • Temporarily removing the cap on two days of teleservice per pay period,
  • Temporarily increasing the number of emergency leave days a sponsor may grant a member from 5 days to 14 days,
  • Temporarily permitting members to submit a self-written justification for consideration in lieu of medical documentation for coronavirus related early terminations.

Further information about these exceptions is detailed in the VISTA-specific FAQs on our website at www.nationalservice.gov/coronavirus.

For more information and useful links about COVID-19, please click here.

Contact Information

Jack Patterson, THEARI AmeriCorps Program Manager, jack@centralcoahec.org