Katz Amsterdam Foundation and CONNECT Summit County Share “Part of Our Nature” Mental Health Awareness Campaign in Summit County
As mountain towns contend with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, CONNECT Summit County has teamed up with the Katz Amsterdam Foundation to promote Part of Our Nature, a mental health awareness campaign. Through this campaign, which will launch in four mountain communities including Summit County, the organizations aim to encourage prioritization of mental health by connecting those in need of support to local resources.
“One of the very real, very unfortunate impacts of COVID-19 on our mountain communities has been a dramatic rise in mental health and substance abuse issues, amplified by the already limited access to local services and stigma that existed in these unique communities,” said Beth Ganz, executive director of the Katz Amsterdam Foundation. “We are committed to raising awareness and connecting people to the support they need during this challenging time. We are grateful to have such strong partners, including CONNECT Summit County, who are passionate about ensuring mental health is prioritized alongside physical health.”
“In these extraordinary circumstances, CONNECT Summit County is uniquely positioned to address the need in the community for access to mental health resources both immediately and going forward. Our mission⎯to create a well-informed and stigma-free community with access to mental health services for everyone⎯has perhaps never been more relevant than it is now,” said Deanna Rhodes, executive director of CONNECT Summit County. “We are grateful to be in a position to steward this community-wide campaign on behalf of all the partners in Summit County.”
By emphasizing that changes in mental health are a “part of our nature,” the awareness campaign aims to normalize the topic of mental health, reduce stigma, and encourage people to reach out and access resources if needed. The campaign will link to a new website, PartOfOurNature.org, which connects people with local mental health services and support specific to their community. The campaign and website are available in both English and Spanish for community members in Summit County, Colorado; Summit County, Utah; Tahoe−Truckee, California; and Whistler, British Columbia.
Founded by Vail Resorts chief executive officer Rob Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, the Katz Amsterdam Foundation supports mountain communities with a focus on increasing access to mental and behavioral healthcare. Since 2016 the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust has donated nearly $6.5 million in mental and behavioral health grants and, recently, $2.5 million to provide immediate COVID-19 support to both Vail Resorts’ employees and mountain towns where the company operates.
About CONNECT Summit County:
CONNECT Summit County was the first local organization to focus on advocacy for mental health and mental wellness issues, creating readiness for change. The organization provides educational programming to promote a better understanding of mental illness and to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness; an online directory of mental health services available in Summit County in combination with personal assistance in navigating the complexities of the mental health system; and ongoing advocacy to citizens and local government for improved mental health services. Learn more about donating, volunteering, fundraising, and getting involved at CONNECTSummitCounty.org.