Community First Foundation has a long history in the health care arena since its founding in 1975 as the fundraising arm of Lutheran Medical Center.

In 2014, Community First Foundation conducted a community listening tour to learn about the mental health environment in the Denver metropolitan area. We spoke with representatives from government, service providers, the funding community and advocacy groups. The consistent, resonating message among all groups was the need for more mental health promotion and prevention. That is why we have identified promoting mental wellness as an area in which we believe we can make a powerful impact.

On a systemic level, the state of mental wellness is all too often considered an afterthought. We want to bring promotion of mental wellness to the forefront of systems change and invest in solutions that help prevent or buffer mental illness.

Community First Foundation’s goal to build strong community by promoting mental wellness is focused on early childhood mental wellness, improving the systems supporting mental wellness, and changing the public perception of mental health and mental illness.

Initial Focus
  • Early Childhood Mental Wellness: evidence-based or promising programs that promote the healthy social and emotional development of children in the early years of life.
  • System Building: monitoring and supporting legislation and policies that improve the systems supporting mental wellness as well as supporting “proof of concept” programs addressing deficiencies in the systems supporting mental wellness.
  • Changing Perception: promoting mental health parity (mental health/illness being perceived and regarded similar to physical health/illness).