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Hickenlooper Approves More Mental Health Services

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Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the bills on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the bills on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (AP) – Colorado will increase mental health services with walk-in crisis centers and a 24-hour hotline in response to last summer’s shootings at an Aurora movie theater.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law Thursday to expand the state’s mental health services. It’s an area that’s been cut during the last decade.

The governor and state health officials unveiled the initiatives last December, saying they began talking about the proposals days after the theater shootings. Lawyers for the suspect have said he is mentally ill and he’s entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Lawmakers allocated nearly $20 million for the expansion, which also includes having more short-term residential services.

The walk-in crisis centers and hotline are expected to be operational by early next year.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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