PEAK Parent Center

PEAK Parent Center is a non-profit organization focused on serving self-advocates and families with children with disabilities in the state of Colorado since 1986. The organization’s mission is to make sure than people with all types of disabilities are fully included in society, the schools, and communities. It constantly provides families with training, technical assistance, and strategies so that they can advocate successfully for their children with disabilities. The motto of PEAK Parent Center sounds like: “Helping Families, helping children”, by reflecting the organization’s commitment to provide support to all families from all backgrounds and cultures.  
The organization was established in 1986 by Judy Martz and Barbara Buswell – two mothers of young children with disabilities. Initially, PEAK was founded as the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and has expanded its outreach within the past few decades, by serving now as the federally-designated Parent Technical Assistance Center for Region 5 and the Rehabilitation Services Administration Center for Colorado and Arizona. The majority of employees at PEAK are either parents or family members of children and young people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds.  
PEAK Parent Center implements various state, federal, local, philanthropic and independent projects. Currently, there are three active projects under implementation: 

– Parent Training and Information Center Project. The purpose of the project is to provide parents, self-advocates and family members from the state of Colorado with information and training about becoming self-advocates for themselves and their children.  
– Shift Transition Project. The project helps young people with disabilities to realize their and transition possibilities, and supports them during their transition periods, such as finishing school, starting college, and others. 
– Parent Technical Assistance Center Project. It is focused on providing technical support to Parent Centers and Parent Training and Information Centers in the states of Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Utah, and Oregon. 

Parent to Parent Colorado

Parent to Parent Colorado is an outstanding system of support for parents and guardians of children with disabilities and special needs. Parenting children with special needs can often be overwhelming and isolating. Parent to Parent has provided caregivers with support on their journey since its earliest days as a “Mother’s Club” started in 1946. The foundation began as a fundamental desire to provide the best care for their children who were differently-abled and from their dream of inclusion for all children. These founders, eight moms who refused to institutionalize their children, worked together to increase the opportunity for all children with disabilities to function and live a rewarding existence.  
While the attitudes of society towards those who have special and unique needs and abilities have changed since those earliest days, there is still work to be done to address the many needs of those children and their parents. Supporting education and encouraging that caregivers be vocal in their needs is a big part of what Parent to Parent Colorado is all about. Getting families together to share ideas and allowing the socialization of their children is a sizable portion of what this group does for special needs families. It is a great relief to understand that you, as the parent, are not alone in this experience. Providing emotional support is an aspect of the group that remains of utmost importance to all involved.  
Giving families with special needs children love and acceptance is the essence of what Parent to Parent Colorado represents. The path set before those walking along on this trip is not always a simple one but is one fraught with trials and tribulations. Letting these parents and their unique children know that they are not alone is a vital part of the group’s mission. They set out to give their children a chance to be productive in life decades ago and that job will never be finished. Support and encouragement are the guiding principles of Parent to Parent Colorado. 

Colorado Behavioral Health Council

The Colorado Behavioral Health Council is an organization that provides comprehensive mental and emotional healthcare support to people residing in every part of the state of Colorado. They offer community resources for psychiatric services that include access to clinics and providers of behavioral services therapies. Their mission is to provide full access to all Coloradans to mental health services that will impact and improve their quality of life. This support likewise extends to family members of those experiencing psychiatric and psychological disorders.  
For people suffering from mental health issues, like depression and bipolar disorder, as well as addiction and substance misuse, it is imperative that resources be made available to everyone who needs them, without being hampered by lack of money or comprehensive medical insurance. CBHC (Colorado Behavioral Health Council) understands that those who lack money or insurance often fall through the cracks due to financial reasons. The goal of CBHC is to place needed services within the community to those who will benefit most. Isolation is a devastating thing for people suffering from mental illness of all kinds. The group works to ensure no one has to suffer silently and that there are still productive lives to be led. Founded in 1967, the objective of CBHC has always been to get help for anyone who needs it.  
Another aspect of CBHC advocacy includes working throughout each year to meet with policymakers and leaders of the communities they serve to promote the services of the organization. They also evaluate policy and bills introduced through the legislature to determine how each will impact mental health services prior to enacting new laws. By doing so, lawmakers must be thoughtful regarding the effect on constituent’s lives that each bill will have, considering the needs of those in their districts. This is another part of the advocacy of CBHC, which acts as a legal support system to run side by side with their advocacy for access to services by all. This complete support for those living with mental health issues is what Colorado Behavioral Health Council is all about and will continue to be their mission. 

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