Durango, Colo. – Axis Health System, a southwest Colorado behavioral health, primary care, oral health, and crisis services provider, received a notice of award from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that it has received a planning, development, and implementation grant to become the first Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) in rural southwest Colorado.

For four years, Axis will receive approximately $1 million a year to create a CCBHC program. CCBHCs were created to transform mental health and substance use treatment across the country and provide sustainable funding for robust community outpatient mental health treatment. Axis received the only award in Colorado this year. The project will be based at Axis’ new Durango Integrated Healthcare Campus when it opens in the spring of 2024.

“Axis Health System’s mental health and addiction treatment services, as well as round-the-clock crisis intervention, don’t just save lives – they strengthen the entire community,” said Senator John Hickenlooper. “This award will create jobs and expand work in underserved communities, all while keeping care affordable.”

CCBHCs must serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use conditions, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age. They are required to provide a range of services, including crisis services. CCBHCs must also ensure access to a comprehensive range of services, providing care coordination when needed and incorporating evidence-based practices and other supports based on a community needs assessment.

“The CCBHC grant award provides the alignment and infrastructure support for measuring health outcomes that Axis Health System is committed to measuring and improving. Over the last 10 years, we have matured as an integrated system and see this as a momentum boost for the continued evolution of high-quality behavioral health care in La Plata County. We recognize the CCBHC award is an opportunity to create a better healthcare home while supporting our staff as we work to simultaneously improve access and expand services,” said Shelly Burke, Axis CEO.

As part of its CCBHC project, Axis plans to increase access to high-quality and affordable healthcare services and supports for all populations, especially adults with a need for higher-intensity SUD treatment, people of all ages who identify as LBGTQI+, Latinx people of all ages, and veterans and their families. The grant will support ten new jobs over the course of the four-year project.

“Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are transforming mental health and substance use treatment by providing equitable access to services for all Americans,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “After sixty years, the vision of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, is being realized, and CCBHCs are making that possible.”


If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, don’t wait. Call or text 988 or chat or contact the 24/7 Axis Care Line at 970.247.5245. Services are free and confidential.

Axis is a 501(c)(3) founded in 1960, with three unique designations: a licensed Community-Based Behavioral Healthcare Entity, a licensed Substance Use Treatment Provider, and a HRSA-funded Community Health Center. Axis serves 11 counties in southwest Colorado. For more information, visit Axis provides pharmacy and behavioral, oral, primary, and crisis healthcare services.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Haley Leonard, Director of Communications, Axis Health System, 970.335.2207 or