April 11, 2023
Mental Health Team Members Sets the Standard for Excellence across Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Denver, CO (April 11, 2023) - On March 14, 2023, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver was named the winner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Trauma-Informed Practice Honor Award. The Honor Awards are Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s most prestigious award program – recognizing Clubs across the nation who demonstrate innovation, leadership, and impact by setting new standards for program quality and excellence.
Winning in this category is a national recognition of the work that the Mental Health Team at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver does every day. We are invested in trauma-informed practice and youth wellbeing, as seen through the implementation of our Mental Health Program. This program increases equitable access to mental health care in historically-underserved and -underrepresented communities by delivering high-quality mental health programming and resources that positively impact kids and their families. Our Mental Health Program incorporates trauma-informed values by first providing a physically and emotionally safe space for kids to come as they are.
Starting January 2022, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver’s Mental Health Program began operating a regional model, where 11 full-time Mental Health Team members facilitate in-person individual sessions, small social-emotional learning (SEL) groups, and provide access to community resources for families at least twice per week across all 20 Clubs. These services support a wide range of mental and behavioral health needs. By inviting authenticity, youth build trust with their mental health professional leading to a collaborative journey in building awareness around behaviors and emotions. Upon this foundation, youth are further empowered to develop skills in problem solving, grow healthy coping skills, and learn self-advocacy. Youth also provide feedback regularly so staff understand their needs and interests.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Chief Impact Officer, Heather Intres, speaks to the powerful programming in our Clubs and in other Clubs across the nation. "Our Mental Health Team shows up every day with energy and care for our Club members and staff. Their dedication, empathy, and sincere desire to be a constant presence is unmatched. Each day for this team is filled with tough conversations and joyful connections. We are thrilled to be recognized for our work, and we also want to recognize our peers across Boys and Girls Clubs of America for their leading social-emotional health efforts during out-of-school time.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver’s dedication to full-time mental health professionals is unmatched. A Club member’s parent recently said, “The access my child has to a social worker when they are having a tough day means everything. They don’t have that anywhere else.”
Our team is grateful and honored by this recognition. We will continue our passionate work to form a foundation of wellbeing for Denver’s youth, ensuring they are poised to succeed academically and become leaders in their communities.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver changes lives. From the first day of kindergarten through high school graduation, we help kids succeed in school, develop good character and citizenship, and live healthy lives. At more than 20 neighborhood Clubs and our summer camp in Ward, CO, we provide our members with safe, supportive, fun, and enriching environments that inspire and empower them to achieve their greatest potential. Every day, we use our dedication, talent, and resources to open doors for kids and with kids. We help Club members not only envision their greatest potential but to turn those dreams into real possibilities.