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.