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Three years ago, “Building Resiliency for Healthy Kids,” a program by Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHC), piloted at Eagleview Middle School (EMS).

Starting with a class of sixth graders, students were taught how to strengthen their mental health when experiencing hardships, depression, or anxiety. After three years of success, CHC has created a promotional video to recruit more schools.  

Now, more than 1,000 EMS students have received one-on-one coaching through the program.

“The sessions have helped drive an increase in self-confidence and a reduction in anxiety and depression among our students,” Jamie Lester, principal of EMS explained.

Throughout the program, CHC Outreach Coordinators met with students 20-minutes a day, for six weeks. Jenna Bruce, a coordinator said, “Our goal is to intervene early before it becomes a mental health crisis. We can give them the tools to overcome challenges.”

Many students in the program have expressed feelings of sadness, loneliness and feeling unworthy during their time at school. “I felt alone when I didn’t do well on my math test, but Jenna taught me how to breathe and take a pause in life,” Jeremiah, an EMS student explained in the video.

“This program is not only good for Eagleview kids, it is good for all kids,” Lester said. “To have an adult, dedicating their time, energy, and undivided attention to young people at ages 10-11 is a very powerful thing. It builds students’ sense of self-efficacy and leads to long-term benefits.”