YouthZone receives $300,000 United Health grant to support teen mental health services

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser helped make the announcement Monday of a $300,000 donation to YouthZone from Rocky Mountain Health Plans to support teen mental health services during a presentation outside YouthZone’s Glenwood Springs facility.
John Stroud/Post Independent

YouthZone’s efforts to provide youth mental health counseling and school-based services got a big boost Monday with the announcement of a $300,000 Rocky Mountain Health Plans donation.

The three-year contribution comes from the UnitedHealth Group company as part of Colorado’s Healthy Youth/Colorado Strong Fund.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was on hand outside the YouthZone facility in downtown Glenwood Springs to help make the announcement.

“The love, the support and the encouragement you provide — it’s saving lives, and it’s enriching lives,” Weiser said, noting the important role YouthZone has in taking some of the burden off of the juvenile justice system locally.

“Too often, we give up on young people who end up on a path that doesn’t lead to good places,” Weiser said. “What this program is about is alternatives, and about opportunity.”

The grant will help YouthZone expand its services to school-based settings and deliver mental health and substance abuse support to approximately 470 youth and their families annually, a news release announcing the grant states.

“Supporting youth mental health has never been more important than it is today, during the pandemic,” Weiser also said.

The donation by Rocky Mountain Health Plans completes a $5 million pledge from UnitedHealth that created the Healthy Youth/Strong Colorado Fund in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office.

Since April of this year, $30 million has been donated by the UnitedHealth Group to Colorado nonprofit organizations focused on advancing health equity in the state.

“There couldn’t be a better time to increase support for youth mental health,” YouthZone Executive Director Jami Hayes said. “This generous support from Rocky Mountain Health Plans will help us serve more young people as we’re seeing the needs skyrocket.”

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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