Executive Director, Office of Behavioral Health Strategies and Crime Prevention & Control Commission
Regina “Regi” Huerter is the Executive Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Strategies. Before moving to Denver in 1982, Regina was raised in Greeley, Colorado where she began her work with youth in 1978 as a counselor in residential facilities and volunteered for Partners, a youth mentoring organization, and in the fields of domestic violence, rape awareness and suicide intervention. She moved to work for Metro Denver Partners where she developed adult mentor screening tools and created special programs for young women. In 1991, she was part of creating the Gang Rescue and Support Program known as GRASP which was adopted by the Metro Denver Partners Board before she left to join the Denver District Attorney’s Office in 1993, where she created and ran the Juvenile Diversion Program. In addition to working for Partners, she personally mentored 20 young people, more than half of whom she is still in contact with. After more than a decade at the DA office, she left to be the CEO for Urban Peak. She was called back the City in 2005 to start up the Crime Prevention and Control Commission, which is now under the Office of Behavioral Health Strategies which she helped set up and began overseeing in July 2015.
Ms. Huerter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Colorado. She is a local and national consultant on creating justice-system change as well as gangs and youth subcultures. Regina works as adjunct faculty for Metropolitan State University of Denver. She served on Colorado’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission and currently sits on the Governor’s Behavior Health Transformation Council. Regina is the recipient of several awards, including those she is most proud of -- the 9 News “9 Who Care” and 2008 NAMI Colorado “Heroes in the Fight” -- for advocacy and creating changes in the mental health/criminal justice system.
Deputy Director, Office of Behavioral Health Strategies
Nikole Bruns joined the Office of Behavioral Health Strategies in November 2016 as the Deputy Director. Originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming and an alumna of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nikole majored in Psychology and English with a minor in Sociology. Since moving to Denver in 1994, Nikole has worked to improve services for youth and families as a volunteer in her community, in schools, and the state. She managed group homes and a runaway shelter, and was the director in a staff-secure adolescent detention program, as well as program director for a non-profit organization providing after-school opportunities in 12 Denver elementary schools.
Before joining the City and County of Denver Nikole worked on the Chief of Staff team at Denver Public Schools. Among her special projects were engagement in community processes, leading overall engagement for the development of DPS’ Denver Plan 2020, and the year-long engagement and development process for defining and acting on the plan’s fourth goal: Support for the Whole Child.
Nikole lives in North Park Hill with her two boys who are active in high school and sports, their rambunctious rescued dog, and a fat cat. They enjoy the Mile High City for its parks, many cultural activities, sports teams, and proximity to the mountains for weekend fun.
The Office of Behavioral Health Strategies was created by the City of Denver to ensure that our approach to mental wellbeing is connected, innovative and effective. Led by Regina Huerter, who pioneered exceptional improvements in Denver’s criminal justice system, the OBHS team connects the key players in our city’s efforts toward greater mental well-being, helps partners find innovative ways to serve their stakeholders and our city, and connects people with the supports they need to thrive.
If you are, or someone you know is, in need of confidential and immediate mental health, substance use or emotional help, please visit Colorado Crisis Services online, call 1-844-493-TALK (8255), or text "TALK" to 38255 to be connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional with a master’s or doctoral degree. (Español - Text TALK to 38255.) Interpretation services are available for non-English speakers. Help and hope are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
If you are, or someone you know is, experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.