Jeffco Mental Health celebrates 55 years


Jefferson Center for Mental Health is celebrating its 55th anniversary by honoring the people who make the work it does possible, and the anniversary of a piece of legislation that helped create the Center.

The 55th Anniversary “Emerald Celebration” will be 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.

“It should be a really fun event,” said Harriet Hall, CEO at Jefferson Center for Mental Health. “We have an anniversary fundraiser every year, but every five years we do a big one and take a look back at our history.”

Dinner will be served at the the event, there will be a silent auction, and CBS4’s Ed Greene will emcee the evening.

“This is a big thank you to the community for helping us provide the services we do,” said Jeanne Oliver, vice president of marketing and development. “The response we’ve received from local businesses and organizations is great - we’re expecting around 400 people to attend.”

Rita Schnidt and David Myers will be the guests of honor. Both are being recognized for their years of working with the Center to provide mental health care to those is need.

“We have a program that will honor both Rita and Dave for all the differences they’ve made in the community,” said Oliver.

Hall said this year is significant because it is the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA) — one of the last pieces of legislation President John F. Kennedy signed before his assassination.

The CMHA was created to provide for community-based care, rather than institutionalization. It gave grants to states for the establishment of local mental health centers, under the overview of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Hall said this act was key to getting places like the Jefferson Center for Mental Health started in the first place.

Hall said that the event is a great chance for the community and the Center to interact, which is a very important part for the work the Center does.

“Staying in touch is crucial because we care about the community, and it cares about us,” she said.

For more information and tickets visit or contact Jill Kary at 303-432-5144.


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