Kaiser Permanente providing grants to schools to address mental health

DENVER — Kaiser Permanente Colorado will provide $1.5 million to advance social, emotional and mental health for students in five school districts across the state, including the Boulder Valley and Thompson Valley school districts.

In August, the Boulder Valley School District will receive $290,000, and the Thompson Valley School District in Northern Colorado will receive $289,000 through Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools behavioral health grants program.

Kaiser Permanente on Monday also launched its Find Your Words public health-awareness campaign that uses TV, radio and online messages that talk about depression in an honest and inspiring way.

The Thriving Schools grant will help address the mental-health and social emotional learning needs identified in three Boulder Valley schools — Fairview High School, Nederland Middle-Senior High School and Nederland Elementary School. Teachers, staff and parents will be provided with professional learning through the Let’s Connect program — a social and emotional training program for adults and students.

In Thompson Valley’s Lincoln, Monroe and Truscott elementary schools, the grant money will support In Focus, a training program that helps teachers and staff recognize their own emotions and limitations to help their young students manage their emotions, improve their focus and gain self-control.

Also receiving grant money through the program are the Fountain-Fort Carson, Cherry Creek and Summit school districts.

“A child’s mental health is greatly influenced by their experiences at school,” Dr. Douglas Newton, a Kaiser Permanente Colorado psychiatrist, said in a prepared statement. “With these grants, we hope to support more Colorado teachers and staff as they continue to learn skills to identify mental health and wellness needs for themselves, their students and the school community.”

Kaiser Permanente has 680,000 members in Colorado.