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

Dramatic Podcast Features the Health Dilemmas of Real-Life Patients

Community First Foundation partnered with the Colorado Health Foundation and University of Colorado to fund a mental health podcast titled “Derailed: When Mental Illness Throws a Life Off Track.” “Derailed” follows a wealthy entrepreneur living with a serious mental illness through five challenging episodes, asking questions like, “Would you hospitalize this man against his will?” and, “Should he tell his business associates about his illness?”

“Derailed” is a segment of Hard Call, a new podcast that presents some of the toughest issues facing patients, professionals and loved ones. Hard Call follows true stories of people making some of the most difficult and emotional choices of their lives. The podcast, released by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, also asks listeners to cast votes on what they would do if faced with making these hard calls.

Available on iTunesGoogle Play, and the web. Listen to the trailer.

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

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.