July 6, 2022

Extending mental health support in schools

Boulder Valley School District receives grant to provide additional support to teachers, staff, students, and families affected by the Marshall Fire.

Contact: Elizabeth Whitehead

DENVER — The recent Marshall Fire in Boulder was one of the largest fires in Colorado’s history, bringing with it destruction, uncertainty, and stress for community members, businesses, and schools. Because of the devastating fires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasing need for mental health, schools across our state require additional support.

That’s why Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, recently announced a $125,000 grant for Boulder Valley School District to bolster ongoing efforts to increase mental health among teachers, staff, students, and their families.

This 2-year grant will help the district expand an existing Kaiser Permanente mental and emotional support initiative called Resilience in School Environments, or RISE.

RISE provides emotional support and trauma-informed training to district and administrative staff to assist staff and students in need districtwide. The grant will extend support for staff, students, and their families who were impacted by traumatic stress from the Marshall Fire.

“Today, teachers, staff, and students face an unprecedented amount of stress and trauma. While districts are increasing mental health support services, more can and must be done to provide the necessary resources to help move the needle in the right direction,” said Michael Ramseier, Kaiser Permanente regional president in Colorado. “Kaiser Permanente is proud to continue our commitment of helping to improve mental health in our school communities through this newly announced grant.”

The grant is an extension of a $74,500 donation Kaiser Permanente provided the school district in early 2022 to increase RISE and other trauma-informed support services.

“We look forward to expanding RISE throughout our entire school district,” said Rob Anderson, Boulder Valley School District Superintendent. “The program’s focus on strengthening the social-emotional health of teachers and providing them with the tools they need to better support students is innovative and has been critically important during our recent crises. RISE has helped to lift our schools and community, as they have struggled to cope with the tragic loss of more than 1,000 homes during the Marshall Fire. Knowing how well the RISE strategy has worked during the most difficult of times, we cannot wait to see the impact it has as it is employed in every school, supporting the mental health needs of our employees and students throughout our system.”

This collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and the Boulder Valley School District is the latest commitment Kaiser Permanente has made to support the health and well-being of the communities it serves. In January 2022, Kaiser Permanente committed $500,000 to community organizations providing wildfire relief efforts in the Boulder area and in August 2020 the organization provided $1.5 million to 5 school districts across Colorado to strengthen the social and emotional health of all school employees and students and support COVID-19 prevention efforts.

Learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s commitments to improving the health of its communities.

About Boulder Valley School District

Boulder Valley School District, which serves 30,000 students over 500 square miles along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, stands as a leader in academic excellence with outstanding classroom teachers, exemplary schools, and programs that support student achievement.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.