Since its inception in July of 2019, Vail Health's Eagle Valley Behavioral Health (EVBH) has led community collaboration to transform the Behavioral Health landscape in Eagle County.

EVBH assesses community needs, identifies service gaps, convenes community leaders, allocates funding, as well as enhances and develops the services necessary to prevent the onset of behavioral health conditions. EVBH provides services for those most in need of care. 

Paradise Paradox

Launched in October 2023, the movie Paradise Paradox focuses on behavioral health in mountain communities and features the collaboration and progress made by the Eagle River Valley community. Vail Health is a proud member of the transformation occurring in the community and is willing to share how we have made progress.

Initiative Implementation

EVBH has strengthened and expanded the existing system of care in the community by aligning partners and filling gaps rather than replacing existing community capacity. EVBH serves to coordinate, develop, enhance, and find ways to financially sustain the full continuum of behavioral health services in our community, including Education and Consultation, Prevention and Early Identification, Outpatient Services, Intensive Outpatient Services, Crisis and Emergency Services, and Inpatient Services through collaborative partnerships.
Six key initiatives for implementation have been identified: 
    Vail Health is building a 28-bed Inpatient Psychiatric facility; 14 single-occupancy adolescent beds and 14 single-occupancy adult beds. We expect to see patients starting in 2025.
    In 2019, Eagle County had only one-half of the recommended licensed behavioral health providers as compared to the Colorado state average on a per capita basis. Colorado ranked 48 in the country (50th being the worst) for behavioral health providers per capita. We aimed to attract and retain over 50 additional behavioral health providers in our first five years, bringing the number of providers in our community to well above the national average. 

    Since then, more than 170 licensed behavioral health providers have been added, far surpassing the original goal.     

    With an objective of increasing access and capacity, we also explored innovative ways of lowering barriers to behavioral health care. The outcomes are:
    • Establishment of a financial assistance program, known as Olivia’s Fund, for any individual who lives or works in Eagle County to get 6 free clinical sessions for therapy and/or medication management;
    • Created Mountain Strong, a behavioral health employee assistance program, to expand services through local mountain-based employers.
    • Developed an interactive online program ( that confidentially connects community members to providers as well as reduces Provider administrative burden. is a seamless conduit connecting those in need with professionals providing care.
    Since launching these behavioral health programs in November of 2020, Mountain Strong has now provided more than 18,400 unique therapy sessions. This includes more than 8,650 sessions at zero cost to the participant. We have also grown our Employee Assistance Program to more than 17 unique businesses and organizations providing care for more than 12,000 individuals in our community.

    In 2018, Vail Health donated a 40-foot RV to help start the MIRA bus (Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance). Vail Health partners with Eagle Valley Community Foundation and Eagle County Government on the MIRA bus, which offers free services and resources in both English and Spanish to people in Eagle County directly in their neighborhood. Vail Health also works with local primary care offices, Mountain Family Health Centers and Colorado Mountain Medical, to fully integrate behavioral health care into all primary care settings across the community and to ensure 100% behavioral health screening at all primary care visits. 
    With more than 30 organizations within Eagle County working on Behavioral Health, it is critical that our efforts are well coordinated. Eagle Valley Behavioral Health serves as the backbone organization working with all community partners to ensure alignment and help everyone work toward the same objectives. Collectively, we will transform the behavioral health system throughout Eagle County by creating a multiplier effect through partnerships, fundraising, and community-based programs and providers with effective delivery systems.

    The behavioral health landscape is rapidly changing both nationally and within the state of Colorado. Trends include mental health parity and health insurance reform, Medicaid benefit expansion and statewide attention to behavioral health system administration and payment structures. As opportunities present themselves, EVBH will remain nimble and quick to execute by monitoring national and state trends and investing in local “proof of concept” projects to continue to improve the behavioral health system in our mountain community.

    EVBH is collecting and reporting on data to measure the outcomes of the behavioral health strategies being deployed in our community. EVBH will be publishing our results and case studies to share our experiences and nurture a culture that values data-based decision-making. We intend to become a national leader as we transform the behavioral health landscape of Eagle County. 
    In order to be successful with the other initiatives, we know we must move upstream and reduce the number of individuals who need care. To do this, we have invested significantly in prevention and education to increase protective factors while decreasing common risk factors in our community. Social determinants of health are being addressed through increased investment in early childhood services, school-based programming, peer support and community-based social engagement and educational opportunities.

    In October 2019, EVBH launched a comprehensive anti-stigma campaign and (now the single online source of information for all behavioral health resources in the community, including upcoming training and education, a behavioral health provider directory, and all behavioral health job listings in the county at the time.

    Future efforts will be targeted towards excessive alcohol use and partnering with other resort communities across the country as we aim to change social norms about alcohol and substance abuse in mountain resort communities.
    In 2018, the community established a 24/7/365 mobile crisis response system that is tied to both our paramedics and our local law enforcement agencies. This system, led by Your Hope Center, responds to all 911 behavioral health calls with crisis clinicians to respond at the point of need. Licensed clinicians provide assessment and stabilization of the individual in the field or in the privacy of their home versus transporting the individual to the hospital or county jail. To date, we have seen a 74% reduction of transports to the hospital emergency department and county jail.

    After individuals have been stabilized, there is a critical need to transition those individuals back into an outpatient setting. We have established strong referral pathways with Your Hope Center and our outpatient providers and case managers to coordinate this transition and ensure that no one falls through the cracks.
    Vail Health, Eagle County Government and donors have provided funding to support Your Hope Center in placing a licensed school-based clinician in every public school in Eagle County. We are also working with the Eagle County School District to develop a comprehensive wellness curriculum that would provide universal social, emotional, and prevention and education at each grade level to support our community’s youth.

Initiative Contacts

To learn more about the behavioral health initiatives in the community, please reach out to the corresponding entity and contact for the initiative listed below.
Vail Health Behavioral Health initiatives:

Marijuana Tax Law - Eagle County Government:

In-school behavioral health clinicians - Your Hope Center:

Co-response crisis model - Your Hope Center:

Financial assistance program - Olivia's Fund: or

'It Takes A Valley' $100M fundraising campaign - Vail Health Foundation: