Follow Up

Actions

Mental health facility for Cherry Creek Schools students set to open in October

CCSD Traverse Academy - Site.jpg
Posted at 9:30 PM, Sep 19, 2023

Editor's note: This story touches on the subject of kids' and teen's mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, you can dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24/7, visit Colorado Crisis Services, or click here for a list of resources in Colorado.

AURORA, Colo. — A first-of-its-kind mental health facility for Cherry Creek Schools students is on track to open in October.

Traverse Academy is operated by the school district and will offer intensive therapeutic support as well as a full range of educational programming. The facility will help 50 students between the ages of 10 and 18.

"We can keep them connected to that learning and then step them back in more effectively to the school systems, which has often been a very big gap,” said Kim Avalos, principal of Traverse Academy.

CCSD Traverse Academy - Cafe.jpg

Local

Mental health care facility to open in the fall for Cherry Creek students

Danielle Kreutter
5:50 PM, May 03, 2023

The school features a lot of windows to allow plenty of natural light. Students will also be able to adjust the lighting in certain rooms in order to calm down and self-soothe.

"We’ve got access to outdoor spaces, which we know is regulating. We've got a climbing wall. Many students who are experiencing mental health care or needs in mental health care, they need to move,” said Avalos.

The facility also focuses on safety. All doors can be opened from the outside without a key so staff members can quickly enter and assist a student in need.

“It’s going to change lives. It's going to save lives,” said Jacob Eggleston, a former Cherry Creek Schools student who has experienced his own mental health struggles. "When I was a kid, I suffered from anger, depression, suicidal thoughts,” he said.

Wanting to give back, Eggleston will serve as a paraeducator at Traverse. He said a mentor helped him through his struggles growing up.

"I just want to be an example and a shoulder to cry on and just really be there in that setting and let the kids know they weren't alone,” he said.

Eggleston is ready for the doors to officially open so he can make a difference.

“I want to teach kids that you just don't have to fall on the floor and give up because of those mistakes, but you can learn and overcome them and be stronger through them,” he said.

A referral is needed in order to enroll at Traverse. Students will be referred through the mental health provider at their home school. Parental consent is required before enrollment, and every referral will undergo an evaluation.

The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.
pack-a-backpack-homepage-promo.jpg

Community

Pack A Backpack equips students for success: How to help