Student well-being

The Marshall Fire shined a spotlight on student mental health needs. In partnership with the Boulder Valley School District we’ve created a long-term approach to providing mental health supports during the school day. Impact on Education is committed to the mental health of BVSD students. With your support we’re able to provide Wellness Centers and Mental Health Advocates in schools, and resources and training to support the well-being of staff, students and their families.

Together we can elevate the mental health of our youth.

Community Conversation

Young people today are experiencing a mental health crisis unlike anything we’ve seen before. Nearly one in five youth in Colorado reported poor mental health in 2021 — double the rate seen in 2017. Social media, the pandemic, and climate change were just some of the external pressures students and parents cited during A Community Conversation: Supporting the Mental Health of Our Youth, a panel discussion hosted by Impact on Education on April 12, 2023.

More ways to watch: English Subtitles | Spanish

Mental Health Advocates

How Mental Health Advocates are supporting students and families

Mental Health Advocates (MHAs) focus exclusively on mental and behavioral health, supplementing what BVSD school counselors can provide. Within BVSD, MHAs:

  • provide support for social-emotional and behavioral development, student achievement and crisis intervention
  • provide both group and individual counseling support and work directly with students, parents, and staff members
  • help families access external resources, including making appropriate referrals to community partners

The intensity of mental health concerns and the time required to provide support and intervention varies dramatically from case to case.

The additional MHAs ensure the schools impacted by the Marshall Fire have the intensive layer of mental health support needed, and expand BVSD’s capacity to respond to mental health needs.

“Each person has a different starting point and a different social and community safety net, which means the same disaster affects each person differently.”

Center for disaster philanthropy

Students need support to manage their emotional health. The Mental Health Advocates can help teach them how, while the Wellness Centers give them the space to do so.

WELLNESS CENTERS

At Monarch High School, where 1 in 10 students was
impacted by the Marshall Fire, BVSD’s first Wellness Center was created to support students in August 2022.

Staffed by a full-time mental health professional, Wellness Center provides students a safe place to recharge and speak with a trained professional during the school day.

What is a Wellness Center?

The Wellness Centers are welcoming and calming spaces with soft lighting and relaxing music. They are filled with flexible, comfortable seating and sensory activities like fidget toys, puzzles and kinetic sand. Each Wellness Center also offers free tea for students, courtesy of The Tea Spot

But the most important part of each Wellness Center is the mental health professional, a Mental Health Advocate, there to support each student who walks through the door.

One Mental Health Advocate described their Wellness Center as “a cozy cafe,” while students shared that they like “the vibe” and having a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of their school.

How BVSD Wellness Centers support student resilience

We’re funding Wellness Centers across Boulder Valley School District because we believe they’re powerful tools for supporting our youth and helping them thrive. Students need support to manage their emotional health. Mental Health Advocates can help teach them how, while the BVSD Wellness Centers give them the space to do so.

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Community conversation brings youth mental health to the forefront

Young people today are experiencing a mental health crisis unlike anything we’ve seen before. Nearly one in five youth in Colorado reported poor mental health in 2021 — double the rate seen in 2017. Social media, the pandemic, and climate change were just some of the external pressures students and parents cited during a panel discussion that gathered more than 300 people at Manhattan Middle School on April 12, 2023.

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Why we need to talk about youth mental health

Mental health has a significant impact on a student’s academic performance, social interactions, and overall well-being, and unfortunately mental health challenges have skyrocketed among children and teenagers. We’re working to raise both the awareness and funds needed to bolster youth mental health supports in our community.

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Mental Health Resources in Boulder County

Colorado Crisis Services

Statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals.
1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255  |  https://coloradocrisisservices.org

Safe2Tell

Anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens you, your friends, your family, or your community. Submit reports any time, any day by calling the number below or submitting through their website or mobile app.
1-977-542-7233  |  https://safe2tell.org

Rise Against Suicide

Helps youth at risk of suicide by removing the financial and social barriers to treatment, enabling them to find hope and healing. RISE offers free and immediate mental health therapy to youth struggling with suicidal ideation.

For help – call 720-263-0085 or email referral@riseagainstsuicide.org
To learn more about the program visit riseagainstsuicide.org

Parent Conversation Cards

28 questions to help make conversations with teens easier. Find time each day to ask a question that will get you both talking.
Download the cards as a PDF >>

NAMI Boulder

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Boulder County, is a nonprofit self-help support and advocacy organization of people with mental illnesses and families and friends of people with mental illnesses. NAMI Boulder offers family support groups for parents and caregivers of teens experiencing mental health issues every Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 p.m. via Zoom. 

More Boulder County and Colorado teen mental health resources are available here:
https://namibouldercounty.org/resources/teen-resources

I Matter Therapy

Parents, caregivers or youth may receive up to six free online therapy sessions through this State of Colorado program.
https://imattercolorado.org

Out Boulder County

The youth program is Out Boulder County’s social and educational space for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies ages 11-18. The year round programming includes three weekly support groups, paid youth internships, annual programming, and youth centered community events. The calendar is always evolving.
https://www.outboulder.org

Natural Highs

Empowers teens as leaders around positive peer culture. They provide healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol through offering workshops, drop-in classes, groups, presentations, sober events, and entrepreneurial and leadership opportunities for teens. Offers a peer mentor program, acudetox, and resources for teens, adults and parents about substance abuse prevention. Empowers teens as leaders around positive peer culture.
https://www.naturalhighs.org

NAMI Say It Out Loud

A free online card game that helps teens explore how they and their friends approach mental health and well-being.
NAMI Say It Out Loud >>

Open and Affirming Sexual Orientation and gender identity Support

OASOS collaborates with LGBTQ+ youth to build safer, healthier, more affirming schools and communities for youth in Boulder County through community engagement, pro-social support groups, one on one resource navigation, school based programming, advocacy, training, health education and leadership development.
OASOS Boulder County >>

BVSD Mental Health Resources

From bully prevention to sexual violence and assault, BVSD offers resources on a variety of mental health topics.
https://www.bvsd.org/parents-students/health-and-wellness/mental-health

SUPPORT EQUITY IN BOULDER VALLEY SCHOOLS

A donation to Impact on Education allows us to invest in the 30,000 students and 4,000 educators of the Boulder Valley School District.

RECENT STORIES

A history of grants and growth

Starting in 1986, with an initiative to empower educators through mini-grants, we’ve continued to evolve our grant program to meet the ever-changing needs of schools and students. This evolution is a testament to our dedication to creating opportunity for students and leveling the educational playing field.

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kids playing with learning toy in library

IOE grants provide $80,0000 to empower BVSD educators

From multiplication games to cello strings to unified PE equipment, our Academic Opportunity Fund continues to fill specific needs beyond the traditional classroom budget. The latest funding round provided $80,000 in grants to 74 educators across BVSD and will provide students access to academic support, supplies, technology, class fees, and more.

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How BVSD Wellness Centers support student resilience

We’re funding Wellness Centers across Boulder Valley School District because we believe they’re powerful tools for supporting our youth and helping them thrive. Students need support to manage their emotional health. Mental Health Advocates can help teach them how, while the BVSD Wellness Centers give them the space to do so.

Read More

Tutoring provides students access to critical support and resources

We first partnered with the Arly Kruse Educational Foundation in 2021 to facilitate a $30,000 investment in targeted in-school and after school catch up tutoring for elementary students. They continue to help fund academic support and tutoring for BVSD families, and during the 2022-23 school year, the foundation funded nine of our Academic Opportunity Fund grant requests, providing over $23,000 in tutoring.

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Impact on Education
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