BROOMFIELD, Colo., Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Mental health access and support continues to be a critical issue for mountain communities across North America. Today, the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust announced that, Rob Katz, Vail Resorts executive chairperson, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana's Pantry, have made significant contributions totaling more than $2.66 million to support mental and behavioral health programs in 12 mountain communities, including 10 where Vail Resorts operates.
For the past eight years, Katz and Amsterdam, co-founders of the Katz Amsterdam Foundation and Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust, have led efforts to augment mental health resources in mountain communities and have helped to shift the landscape of behavioral health. Since 2016, contributions from Katz Amsterdam now total over $56 million. Today's 13 grants issued by Katz Amsterdam will further enable collaboration and innovation across 12 mountain communities in Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Vermont, Washington, and British Columbia.
"Watching the acceptance and conversations surrounding mental health continue to grow in our mountain communities is inspiring," said Rob Katz, co-founder and board president of the Katz Amsterdam Foundation. "We feel incredibly lucky to be able to help these organizations and support their collective missions to improve access to much-needed health services and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health."
Katz Amsterdam strives to be a catalyst for eliminating inequities, increasing access to opportunity, and improving outcomes for all. As a foundation, their priority is to support community-driven work that meaningfully improves the lives of all individuals and the social well-being of communities.
"The Katz Amsterdam Foundation has been an instrumental partner in addressing our community's mental health needs," said Stacy Caldwell, chief executive officer of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, a Katz Amsterdam grant recipient. The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation connects people and opportunities to generate resources to build a more caring, creative, and effective community.
"With Katz Amsterdam's investment, we have developed a regional roadmap that identifies gaps and opportunities in our mental health supports," continues Caldwell. "The Katz Amsterdam network acts as an incubator in which mountain towns can gain invaluable insights from one another and employ approaches that have been tested and proven in similar environments. We are truly grateful for the meaningful impact that this unique partnership brings to our community."
The Katz Amsterdam grants are in addition to the annual EpicPromise grants from Vail Resorts, which support more than 400 nonprofits across mountain communities where the company operates. As reported in the recently released Environmental & Social Responsibility Report, Vail Resorts donated $28.1 million in community grants during the 2022/23 season to support top priority needs including affordable childcare, housing and food security.
In addition to their focus on mountain communities, Vail Resorts provides mental health support for employees, including six free counseling sessions per year for team members, their dependents, and roommates. The company also offers convenient no-cost tools including a wellness app, personal coaching, and virtual and in-person therapy.
The Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust grant recipients announced today include:
CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO
- $60,000 to Gunnison Valley Health Foundation – Hiring of a Spanish-speaking Certified Peer Support Specialist for Gunnison Middle & High Schools and to expand the Spanish-speaking peer health navigator role to support connection to mental behavioral health services.
- $70,000 to CB State of Mind – Providing therapy and substance abuse treatment scholarships for Black and Indigenous People of Color communities.
EAGLE COUNTY, COLORADO
- $545,000 to Eagle Valley Behavioral Health – Supporting collaborative efforts of three agencies in Eagle County as they provide mental health, substance abuse, and peer support in Spanish.
SUMMIT COUNTY, COLORADO
- $500,000 to Building Hope – Supporting the Summit County community through five organizations that provide substance abuse support and medically assisted treatment for adults and adolescents, supervision for integrated care services, and mental health scholarships and services in Spanish.
- $50,000 to Telluride Foundation – Gathering Telluride community and provider survey data for upload into the KAF Shared Measurement Framework data dashboard, where it will be used to track community mental behavioral health needs.
- $50,000 to Aspen Community Foundation - Surveying the Aspen community's mental behavioral health needs in order to inform strategic decisions and improve the quality of life for residents.
SUMMIT COUNTY, UTAH
- $500,000 to Park City Community Foundation – Supporting hiring of bilingual mental health professionals, expanding prevention, psychiatric, job training, and sober living services for youth and adults.
TAHOE, TRUCKEE AND SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA / NEVADA
- $250,000 to Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation – Supporting programs identified in the Tahoe/Truckee community strategic plan including those that focus on youth, bilingual and bicultural mental health, substance use disorder, and more.
- $100,000 to El Dorado Community Foundation – General mental behavioral health support.
- $250,000 to Vermont Community Foundation – Support mental and behavioral health and substance misuse prevention and treatment projects for seven subgrantees in the Stowe, Ludlow, and Mt. Snow communities of Vermont.
- $35,000 to Upper Valley Cares - General mental behavioral health support.
WHISTLER, BC, CANADA
- $200,000 to Whistler Blackcomb Foundation - General mental behavioral health support.
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING
- $50,000 to the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole – To gather Teton County community and provider survey data about community mental and behavioral health needs to help inform strategic decisions and to use in the KAF Shared Measurement Framework data dashboard, where it will be foundational for shared learning with other mountain communities.
About Katz Amsterdam Foundation: The Katz Amsterdam Foundation strives to be a catalyst for eliminating barriers to health, increasing access to opportunity, and improving outcomes for all. The Foundation believes that everyone benefits from living in healthy and cohesive communities, but access to these benefits is unequal. KAF works in partnership with communities to advance just and equitable approaches to accessing mental, behavioral and reproductive health care and protect civil rights by increasing civic engagement and participation in a multiracial democracy. The Foundation does this work by addressing systemic injustice, racial and social disparities in mental health, reproductive health and civic engagement. KAF's priority is to support community-driven work that meaningfully improves the lives of individuals and the social well-being of our communities. For more information, visit www.katzamsterdam.org.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) Vail Resorts is a network of the best destination and close-to-home ski resorts in the world including Vail Mountain, Breckenridge, Park City Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, Stowe, and 32 additional resorts across North America; Andermatt-Sedrun in Switzerland; and Perisher, Hotham, and Falls Creek in Australia – all available on the company's industry-changing Epic Pass. We are passionate about providing an Experience of a Lifetime to our team members and guests, and our EpicPromise is to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030, support our employees and communities, and broaden engagement in our sport. Our company owns and/or manages a collection of elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, a portfolio of vacation rentals, condominiums and branded hotels located in close proximity to our mountain destinations, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Retail operates more than 250 retail and rental locations across North America. Learn more about our company at www.VailResorts.com, or discover our resorts and pass options at www.epicpass.com.
SOURCE Vail Resorts, Inc.