Colorado’s Project AWARE aims to build a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated school behavioral health services system that supports every student in Colorado in reaching their fullest potential in school and life. The Colorado Department of Education was awarded $10 million by The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) spread over five years to build infrastructure and expand the capacity of the state and district partners around mental health.
The Colorado Department of Education will collaborate with behavioral health stakeholders across the state to improve mental health awareness and response. In addition to broader, statewide activities, Project AWARE has partnered with three local education agencies (LEAs) to support best practices to inform Colorado schools and communities interested in accomplishing similar goals. These partner LEAs include Aurora Public Schools, Fountain-Fort Carson School District and Thompson School District.
In addition to our LEA partners, Project AWARE will be working with Mental Health First Aid to provide Youth/MHFA training across the state. Using this and other evidence-based programs, Project AWARE aims to improve school climate, safety and substance abuse prevention. Through increased collaboration based on a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), models will be developed that sustainably fund the provision of high impact school and community-based behavioral and behavioral health services.