Eagle Valley Behavioral Health looks to expand mental health services as Summit County’s community mental health provider

The Vail Health subsidiary is expected to increase mental health services for Summit County's small mountain towns

A rendering of the Precourt Healing Center in Edwards, which will fill a remaining gap in Eagle County’s mental and behavioral health services: a psychiatric inpatient facility for adults and adolescents.
Vail Health/Courtesy photo

Eagle Valley Behavioral Health is expanding access to behavioral and mental health services in Summit County after the county government designated the provider as the county’s community mental health center earlier this year.

Mental health resources have long been lacking in Summit County and throughout Colorado. The county’s partnership with Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vail Health, aims to expand the availability of mental health services locally and reduce barriers to accessing help, according to Paige Baker-Braxton, Vail Health’s director of outpatient health.

“What we know statistically to be true is that mountain communities — rural resort areas, rural communities in general — have a higher risk of significant mental health issues,” Baker-Braxton said. “A huge piece of that is our isolation from larger systems. But we also tend to see higher rates of mood disorders and substance use, particularly alcohol, in our community.”

Colorado’s Behavioral Health Administration contracts with community health centers to provide mental health treatment services to families and individuals with low incomes or who are not covered by insurance.

Eagle Valley Behavioral Health accepts all insurance providers, Medicaid and Medicare as well as aid scholarships from Building Hope and Vail Health, Baker-Braxton said, providing therapy, psychiatric and case-managements services to anyone who needs it.

“Low barriers can not only save people’s lives but can also increase their overall health and wellness and ability to live in our community,” Baker-Braxton said. “We’re excited to partner with those folks who have already been doing the work and need more help.”

The partnership is expected to provide increased services for Summit County including outpatient therapy, adult and child psychiatry, and case management.

With access to state funding through the Behavioral Health Administration, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health will also be working to support crisis services currently in place with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and bring a new mobile crisis provider online in 2024.

Stay up-to-date on all things Summit County. Get the top stories in your inbox every morning. Sign up here:

Eagle Valley Behavioral Health has an office in Frisco that provides outpatient and case management services, Baker-Braxton said. That office will soon have four clinicians who specialize in trauma and substance abuse, among the largest mental health needs for mountain communities, she said.

In 2025, Vail Health plans to open the Precourt Healing Center, a 28-bed in-patient behavioral health facility in Edwards that will provide care for adults and adolescents experiencing acute psychiatric crises.

“Eagle Valley has demonstrated that they can provide high quality behavioral health for Summit County, which is why the board is so excited to see this partnership move forward,” Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.