Now, the Department of Health is working on assessing over 2,000 patients with mental illness to see if these patients could benefit from different living somewhere else.
An estimated 26 percent of homeless adults in the nation who stay in shelters live with serious mental illness, and a little more than 50% of adults who experience a substance use disorder also have a co-occurring mental illness.
Persons with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions and, on average, die 25 years earlier than others, due largely to treatable medical conditions. Many people don't seek treatment or remain unaware that their symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition.
"When someone is looking for a place to put someone because they can not care for them themselves it may not be because they are elderly, so you are going to have people in nursing homes who are not elderly", says DuBois. These misperceptions add to the challenges of living with a mental health condition.
Over the next 18 months, the state will be assisting more than 2,500 mentally ill people now living in nursing homes. People with mental health conditions can and do pursue higher education, succeed in careers, make friends and have relationships.
Most is part of a coalition of public and mental health groups behind the Let's Talk Colorado campaign, an initiative encouraging Coloradans to talk openly about mental health.
Remember, there is always hope.