Promoting Mental Wellness

We invest in solutions that cultivate resilience and prevent the onset of mental health problems. By focusing on early intervention programs, we are working to help prevent or buffer mental illness. Why mental wellness >


Focus Areas

Early childhood mental wellness: Invest in early childhood mental wellness programs that cultivate resilience and prevent the onset of mental health problems.

Improve systems: Support policies and “proof of concept” programs addressing deficiencies in the mental health system.

Change perceptions: We want people to think of mental health and illness the same way they think of physical health and illness.


Grant Highlights

Improving Early Childhood Development by Addressing Pregnancy-Related Depression

Pregnancy-related depression is the most common complication of pregnancy. Surprisingly, it is also one of the most underdiagnosed.

This illness can have a dramatic effect on a child’s emotional development, impairing mother-infant bonding and a child’s ability to learn. More than one in ten women in Colorado suffers from symptoms, yet fewer than half receive treatment according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Community First Foundation is funding Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Colorado, a Denver-based nonprofit addressing development delays in early childhood, to help health care providers support new moms. ABCD Colorado is working to identify gaps in the screening and referral process. The aim is to increase identification of women with pregnancy-related depression and help them connect to appropriate resources in their communities.

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The Foundation’s focus on pregnancy-related depression is a true two-generation approach. Helping moms access help will have a lasting effect on their life and the life of their developing child.

If you or someone you know is suffering from pregnancy-related depression or anxiety, you can find available resources online at

$1.7 Million in Grants to Support Childhood Mental Wellness in Pediatric Settings

In 2015, Community First Foundation granted $5,000 each to nine pediatric practices for facilitating the early identification and treatment of mental health and behavioral issues in a primary care setting. After completing a six-month planning phase, these pediatric practices are preparing to implement integrated early childhood behavioral health services.

Community First Foundation is partnering with the Practice Transformation Team from Project CLIMB (Consultation Liaison in Mental Health and Behavior) at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program to provide technical assistance, training, consultation and support for the following grantees: Doctors Care, Horizon Pediatrics, KidsFirst Pediatrics, Montbello Family Health Center, Mountainland Pediatrics, Peak Pediatrics, Rocky Mountain Health Centers Pediatrics, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics and Salud Family Health Centers in Commerce City.

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The grants will increase access to mental health services to an underserved population and train health professionals to address the mental and behavioral health needs of young children. Over the next two years each pediatric practice will participate in trainings and receive technical assistance through an annual $75,000 grant from the Foundation. The Foundation’s total investment in this program is $1.7 million.
LAUNCH Together:
Local Funders Team Up to Support Mental Health of Young Coloradans

Community First Foundation and seven local funders have joined forces to give young Coloradans a better shot at happy, healthy lives. We know mental health is shaped early in life along with the developing brain. Sustained, adverse experiences during this time can have lifelong consequences, such as poor health, difficulty learning, homelessness and more.

original-blue_project-launch_circle-onlyThat is why the funders have pooled $11.2 million and created LAUNCH Together. Based on a successful federal program, this initiative will help local communities incorporate mental health screening and treatment into services that already support young children. Pediatricians, childcare providers, school administrators, educators and others will be tasked with coordinating their services to ensure the needs of vulnerable young children don’t fall through the cracks.

Several Colorado communities will receive grants to implement LAUNCH Together and focus on five proven strategies: 1) integrating behavioral health into primary care, 2) providing mental health consultations in early childcare and educational settings, 3) enhancing home visitation services, 4) educating parents and strengthening families, and 5) screening and assessment.

LAUNCH Together funding partners are comprised of The Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, Buell Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation, Community First Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, The Piton Foundation at Gary Community Investments and Rose Community Foundation.