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Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver offering mental health resources to help students

Studies that the club has conducted shows that student are benefitting from this resource
Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
Posted at 2:58 PM, Jun 03, 2024

DENVER — The Boys and Girls clubs of Metro Denver is preparing to welcome thousands of kids for summer camp. With those preparations underway they are also making sure resources are in place to help kids with their mental health.

Denver7 spoke with a club member who is already seeing the benefits of the program.

“It just took me a long time to get out of a dark space. And when I came to the club, I didn't know how to get out of the dark space,” said Yaretzi Macías.

Macías' story continues to be written, but thanks to the boys and girls clubs of metro Denver, things are looking up.

“I've been able to communicate with them and be able to talk to them about anything,” Macías said.

It’s mental health professionals like Araya January who helps the kids work through whatever life throws their way.

“We bring in different types of like, evidence-based social-emotional learning curriculums, and we teach the kids different types of skills. So essentially, we could be talking about what makes a good friend. I've made like friendship recipes cards with the kiddos,” January said.

January also does check-ins with students at the club to make sure they're doing alright. Across the 25 clubs in the Denver metro, data provided shows 93% of club members reported feeling better thanks to the mental health resources at the club.

“So back in 2015, looking at other programs across the nation, it became evident we need to bring this to Denver's kids. And so we started small and continued to grow,” Boys and Girls Club CEO Erin Porteous said.

Porteous added they have 12 mental health professionals meeting with kids each day.

“Our kids are learning new skills, that they're able to share some of the challenges that they're facing, but they're doing it in a way that doesn't feel like a doctor setting or a sterile environment, but rather a fun Boys and Girls Clubs where they already feel a sense of stability, consistency, and security,” Porteous said.

As the summer quickly approaches you can find more information about the Boys and Girls Club metro Denver here.

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