TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
Rotarians for Mental Health brings together resources and information from Rotary Clubs with the purpose of bringing awareness and taking action around mental health and substance use disorders.
We encourage clubs who are already doing projects in the mental health field to tell us about them. We want to share them with other clubs who might be inspired. We’re at info@R4MH.org.
Under this tab you’ll find summaries of mental health projects from the following clubs:
Denver Mile High Rotary
Denver Mile High Rotary recently hosted a Bike Ride for Rotarians For Mental Health that raised $600.
Denver Mile High Rotary has also been involved in projects like BrainWise, providing eReaders to Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life Program.
Commerce City Rotary Club
The Commerce City Rotary Club embarked on a mental health awareness effort in January 2015 partnering with the Community Reach Center to provide Mental Health First Aid training and certification to club members and members of the community. Education and increased awareness will work to decrease stigmatizing attitudes regarding mental illness, increase confidence of individuals to reach out to the readily accessible resources available in the community, increase confidence of individuals to provide help to others in need, and increase community knowledge of behavioral health resources available for those in need.
Boulder Valley Rotary
Boulder Valley Rotary is the lead club on a $9,000 District grant that provides “scholarships with living stipends” to clients of Mental Health Partners (MHP) in Boulder. The scholarships provide meals and uniform cleaning for clients who are in MHP’s culinary, custodial and office skills job training programs. Broomfield Rotary also contributed to this grant. The scholarships began Jan 1, 2015. The first graduate of the culinary skills training found paid employment in June, 2015.
Rotary Club of Denver
A key element of the Rotarians For Mental Health that the Rotary Club of Denver is focusing on is educating its members about the realities of mental illness in order to break down the misperceptions and biases.
Rotary Club of Castle Pines
This Rotary Club has had a long interest in mental health issues as evidenced by collaboration with the suicide prevention efforts spearheaded by our
Sheriff’s Department. We have provided and served meals and snacks for training sessions offered to both school personnel and the general public. Three-hour courses in suicide detection and two-day courses in suicide intervention work to foster a better informed and more competently prepared community response.
Our support of the Y.E.S.S. (Youth Education and Safety in Schools) Program helps combat bullying, sexting and substance abuse, promotes internet safety, and teaches healthy relationships in the school setting. Parent Academies, taught by Y..E.S.S. officers, assist moms and dads in the challenges of present day parenting.
To date, the Rotary Club of Castle Pines has sponsored 60 middle school and high school students for week-long leadership training at Camp Ponderosa in Larkspur and the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, respectively. Participants discover personal strengths, learn communication techniques, develop teamwork skills, and enhance self-esteem – with students frequently declaring, “This has changed my life.”
Sponsorship of Interact Clubs at Rock Canyon High School and Rocky Heights Middle School enables students to catch the happy virus of Service Above Self. A byproduct of that has been their activity in the Peaceful Schools Program where older students help 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students in how to deal with conflict and treat people with respect and dignity.
While youth is our primary concern, our interest in mental health extends to our veterans. Sponsorship of soldiers to the Warrior Bonfire Program assists
those burdened with PTSD. Additionally, financial assistance to Guitars for the Troops provides free acoustic guitar packages to active-duty soldiers serving around the world, wounded warriors recuperating from injuries, and veterans who may be suffering from the invisible wounds of war.
Finally, some degree of improved mental health is certainly a result of the Shelter Boxes we send, granting temporary shelter to disaster victims worldwide.
Challenges to stability are many in our modern world. It is reassuring to know that Rotarians are increasingly aware of the importance of mental health as a major issue and are working in its behalf.
Boulder Rotary Club
The BRC Mental Wellness Effort came on board much later than a number of other 5450 committees, having its first official meeting in April, 2015. At that time, the club member championing the effort stated that her primary interest was in “reducing stigma and increasing compassion in regards to mental health issues.”