Mental Health Programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver

At Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, we are deeply committed to providing the best ongoing mental health support to our Club members. With a dedicated team of full-time mental health professionals, each of our 25 Clubs has a mental health team member present at least two days weekly to facilitate individual connection sessions and small social-emotional learning (SEL) groups that support a wide range of mental health needs. 

As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, we are thrilled to showcase some engaging and meaningful programming. Read on to discover more about the recent mental health programs our Club kids have participated in! 

Navigating Emotions Through InsideU 

InsideU, a SEL app, is an innovative approach for helping kids learn about emotional awareness and relationships, using characters from the animated film Inside Out. Inspired by Disney & Pixar’s Inside Out, The Renée Crown Wellness Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder designed the app with the help of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Club members. Through engaging in InsideU, Club members were able to test out the app and provide feedback to help make it more engaging for other youth.  

The Mental Health Team continues to actively use the app through individual and group sessions with Club members. InsideU focuses on teaching youth how to handle big emotions and how different emotions impact our decisions. By exploring their emotions and learning to make informed choices, Club members gained valuable insights into their own mental wellbeing.  

Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver’s partnership in InsideU.  

Creating Safe Spaces with Cozy Carts 

The Cozy Cart initiative provides a safe haven for members to regulate their emotions and find comfort during times of stress. Available in the Club, they offer tools such as weighted blankets, fidget toys, and calming activities.   

One of those activities is “Spot it!” - a game to help kids to manage their emotions in a group setting. The card game showcases multiple pictures with a match of a different size. Playing a game with simple rules and focusing on memorizing images has offered a practical solution for Club members managing heightened emotions. 

The Cozy Cart has empowered Club members to self-soothe and constructively manage overwhelming feelings. 

Color Mixer 

The "Color Mixer" program fosters collaboration and emotional regulation among members. In this engaging activity, participants worked together to create a vibrant piece of art, starting with a single color and gradually adding more hues by working with other members as a team.  

The process required members to ask for and offer help, promoting effective communication and teamwork. This hands-on experience empowers youth to express themselves creatively while learning valuable lessons about teamwork and resilience. 

“I Feel” Meter 

The "I Feel Meter" provides members a simple yet effective tool for identifying and expressing their emotions. With a range of moods from happy, sad, angry, and excited, kids moved the meter based on their feelings. This offered kids a simple way to articulate their emotions and communicate their needs in a safe and supportive environment. By fostering emotional awareness and self-expression, this program helped participants build confidence, strengthen relationships, and navigate life's challenges with greater resilience. 

Through a variety of innovative and engaging programs, we strive to provide our Club kids with the tools they need to understand and manage their emotions. From interactive apps like InsideU to hands-on activities like the Cozy Cart and “I Feel” Meter, our Mental Health Team works diligently to create supportive environments where every kid can reach their greatest potential. Join us next week as we highlight more of the fun and impactful adventures our Club kids have with our Mental Health Team.  

Learn more about our Mental Health Team here. 

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