It’s been almost three years since the Casey family asked The Summit Foundation to help address mental health issues in our community after Patti Casey took her own life. She was a loving and devoted mother and community leader, and the family wanted to find a way to honor her.
Through the Patti Casey Memorial Fund and donations from generous individuals, the Building Hope initiative was established in June 2016 to address mental health in our community. Since that time, thousands of people have been assisted through the community connecting events, free access to care, and training on how to help each other. Stigma around mental health has been reduced, and we are all more open in talking about our struggles or those of our loved ones.
The initiative has been so successful that it will now become its own 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization so that this critical work can continue and build.
A True Collaboration
For over two years, The Summit Foundation helped incubate the effort by providing support and serving as the fiscal agent, and FIRC has kindly hosted and managed the program. Trustee Gini Bradley has been a consultant helping with infrastructure and facilitation, and Betsy Casey has demonstrated dedication and expertise for the issue, quickly implementing the effective programs. Tim Casey has provided substantial support and serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board. serves as It is a true collaborative effort, with over 20 community partners putting the community needs above their own and coming together to address the issue. Congratulations to all.
Jennifer McAtamney named Executive Director of Building Hope
After an exhaustive local search, Jennifer McAtamney has been named Executive Director of Building Hope. Jen was most recently the Child Care Program Administrator for the Town of Breckenridge and is the President of the Board of Directors for Early Childhood Options. She is a long-time Summit County resident and has served on the Breckenridge Town Council. In addition, Jen and her husband have owned and run a local business managing home owner associations. She brings a strong set of business skills to Building Hope, as well as enormous passion and personal involvement with the community and mental health.
Vail CEO makes generous donations for mental health
In December, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam announced significant donations for nonprofits addressing behavioral health in Vail’s territory, including $650,000 to organizations in Summit County. A special thanks to the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust for this generous support:
· Building Hope - $250,000 to develop a campaign to reduce stigma, provide therapy scholarships and offer professional development for service providers;
· Summit Community Care Clinic - $170,000 to increase access to services at school-based clinics;
· Family & Intercultural Resource Center - $100,000 to create a peer-support mental health program;
· Mind Springs - $100,000 to train people on Mental Health First Aid throughout their region.