Ent Donates More Than $1.2M to Fight Youth Suicide Epidemic
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Coloradans ages 10 to 24. To help fight the state’s youth suicide epidemic, Ent Credit Union is partnering with Children’s Hospital Colorado by donating more than $1.2 million over the next three years to support mental health services in the hospital’s care network, in the community and across the state.
To commemorate the partnership, Ent presented Children’s with a $1.2 million symbolic check and an actual check for $150,035 raised during its recent debit card campaign. Throughout December 2019, Ent pledged to members it would donate two cents for every debit card transaction they made. “We specifically chose December because we knew our members would be out holiday shopping,” said Mollie Bell, Ent Chief Development Officer. “This campaign really touched our members’ hearts. In addition to using their cards, one member was so moved by the campaign he came in to personally contribute to Children’s Colorado.”
Like other organizations and community leaders across Colorado, Ent executives and employees have watched with increasing concern as the state’s suicide rate soared to among the nation’s 10 highest.
“Families throughout the state are struggling to get the help they need – and losing their children to suicide. As an organization, we haven’t seen one crisis have such a fatal impact in every community we support and serve,” Bell said. “It’s an epidemic that’s hurting all of us. It’s a tragedy for too many of our families, members, employees and neighbors.”
In the past decade, Children’s Colorado has seen a 600% increase in admissions of children who have attempted suicide. Currently, it’s estimated that only 21% of the approximately 226,000 kids and teens in Colorado with diagnosable mental health conditions are receiving treatment.
“Colorado kids and families deserve access to the highest quality care for mental health challenges,” said Shannon Van Deman, Vice President of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Executive Director of Partners for Children’s Mental Health. “They currently face barrier after barrier. We need a system-wide change in our state. This involves uniting and aligning all of the mental health initiatives across Colorado to make the biggest impact for kids.”
To overcome these gaps, Ent’s partnership with Children’s Colorado will help fund multiple mental health initiatives, including the Pediatric Mental Health Institute (PMHI) and Partners for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH). PCMH, Colorado’s first Center of Excellence for pediatric mental health, brings together pediatric experts and stakeholders across Colorado. This coordinated referral and treatment approach is designed to help kids and families more easily access best-in-class mental health care, so mental health challenges don’t escalate into emergencies.
“As Colorado’s leading credit union, we’re committed to improving our members’ financial quality of life. But when families are doing all they can just to get their child into life-saving treatment, their focus on finances can suffer,” Bell said. “Supporting families’ mental health ultimately supports their financial health.”
“Our community partners and donors help make a new mental health system possible through their support of our strategic vision,” said Van Deman. “Ent Credit Union’s generous gift is providing resources to make a new mental health future a reality, and for that, we are so grateful.”
“Thanks to Children’s Colorado, progress is already being made. But ensuring every child will have prompt access to the care they need will take time. It’s why we are so committed to our multi-year partnership,” Bell said.
Ent Credit Union presents checks to Children’s Hospital Colorado representing its 3-year, more than $1.2 million donation and $150,035 raised from its member campaign. Ent donated two cents to Children’s Colorado for every December 2019 debit card transaction. Pictured are (left to right): Shannon Van Deman, VP of the Children’s Colorado Pediatric Mental Health Institute/Executive Director of Partners for Children’s Mental Health; Mollie Bell, Ent Chief Development Officer; Chris Marshall, Ent Chief Technology Officer; Jennifer Sussman, Ent Chief Marketing Officer; Chad Graves, Ent CEO; Jena Hausmann, Children’s Colorado President & CEO; Matt Gendron, Ent Chief Engagement Officer; Rich Scholes, Ent Chief Experience Officer; Jason Williams, Children’s Colorado Director of Operations for the Pediatric Mental Health Institute.
Founded in 1957, for the second consecutive year Ent is ranked Colorado’s #1 credit union by Forbes. A different kind of financial institution, Ent is committed to improving members’ financial quality of life with better rates, lower fees and Ent Extras® Cash Rewards. With $6+ billion in assets, Ent serves more than 370,000 members at more than 35 convenient service centers all along the Front Range. Businesses and people (who live, work, worship or attend school) in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller and Weld counties may join the not-for-profit financial , community-chartered credit union. Ent is an Equal Housing Opportunity and Equal Opportunity Lender, insured by the NCUA.