CONNECT Summit County is one of 18 behavioral health agencies to share $2.8 million in funding from the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust.  This generous donation involves a 3:1 matching grant of up to $150,000 to further expand our organization’s mental health resource directory and launch a 2020 anti-stigma campaign.

So, what exactly does this mean? For every $10,000 raised by CONNECT, the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust intends to give $30,000, with a maximum total gift of $150,000. Any funds raised and received beginning December 11, 2019 through April 15, 2020 will qualify for the match.

Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, recently announced significant contributions totaling more than $2.8 million to further strengthen emotional wellness programs in more than ten mountain communities where Vail Resorts operates. The second annual distribution of behavioral health grants issued by the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust (KACT) benefits over 40 non-profit organizations to reduce the stigma of mental illness, improve access to mental and behavioral health services and support collaboration within and among mountain communities.

We are so grateful to the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust for supporting CONNECT Summit County in 2020. Their contribution has been and will continue to be critical in our ability to raise awareness, decrease stigma, and better meet the pressing behavioral and mental health needs of all the residents of Summit County,” says Executive Director Deanna Rhodes. “In 2020, we are so excited to be entrusted to champion a community-wide, collaborative anti-stigma campaign, which will further normalize the conversation surrounding mental health.”

Over this past year, the Katz Amsterdam Foundation has focused on connecting mountain communities on the topic of mental and behavioral health. In May, the Foundation hosted a convening of 60 mental health professionals from these communities, facilitating a conversation about similar challenges each community faces such as substance abuse, feelings of isolation, availability of providers and mental health outcomes. Following the meeting, community stakeholders agreed to align on a set of shared measures to support collective learning – focusing on progress in the following areas: social dynamics; mental health attitudes and knowledge; provider capacity; and affordability and accessibility of care.

“It has been inspiring to see the shared desire that exists across each of our mountain communities to make a difference, to help others and to ignite a passion for creating truly healthy communities,” said Katz. “We are thrilled to be able to help unite so many incredible organizations and support their collective efforts to improve access to much-needed health services and reduce the stigma and misunderstanding around these issues.”

The grants announced this week further enable collaboration and innovation across mountain communities in British Columbia, Washington, California, Utah, Colorado, Vermont and New Hampshire. The KACT grants are in addition to the annual EpicPromise grants from Vail Resorts, which support more than 350 non-profits across the company’s mountain communities. EpicPromise grants for 2019/20 are being announced by Vail Resorts in December 2019 and January 2020.

Help CONNECT Summit County be the catalyst for change in our community by donating here. 

Photo: Park City Mountain

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