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About Project AWARE

New Report! Per House Bill 23-1009, the Secondary School Student Substance Use Committee developed a report with a practice that secondary schools may implement to identify students who need substance use treatment, as well as interventions, resources, and referrals. Click here to learn more about the report.

Project AWARE logo: Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education

Adolescent Girl wearing glasses and backpack

The Colorado Department of Education has two concurrent cohorts of funding from The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) through the 2025/2026 school year to build infrastructure and expand the capacity of the state and district partners around mental health. Colorado’s Project AWARE works to build a comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated school behavioral health services system that supports every student in Colorado in reaching their fullest potential in school and life.

The Colorado Department of Education collaborates with behavioral health stakeholders across the state, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Violence Injury Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Branch  and The Behavioral Health Administration's Office of Children Youth and Families to improve mental health awareness and response. In addition to broader, statewide activities, Project AWARE partners with seven local education partners to support best practices to inform Colorado schools and communities interested in accomplishing similar goals. The local partnerships include Archuleta School District, Ignacio School District 11-JT, Colorado Springs D11 Schools, Littleton Public Schools, Poudre School District, The Southern Ute Education Department, and Westminster Public Schools. Project AWARE had a former round of funding that ended in 2019. Local partnerships included Aurora Public Schools, Fountain-Fort Carson School District, and Thompson School District.

In addition to our local partners, Project AWARE collaborates and aligns with other CDE departments to focus on improving school climate, safety, and social-emotional learning within a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model to build capacity for high-impact school and community-behavioral health interventions and supports.

Project AWARE Documents and Other Resources

Groups involved in Project Aware: Colorado Behavioral Health, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Archuleta School District, Ignacio School District 11-JT, Westminster Public Schools, Littleton Public Schools, Poudre School District, and Colorado Springs Schools

For more information contact:

For general inquiries, please email

Chauncey Stephens, Project AWARE Team Lead, Colorado Department of Education

Liz Schroder, Project AWARE Program Coordinator, Colorado Department of Education

Amy Plog, Project AWARE Evaluator, Colorado Department of Education

Meghan Paulson, Project AWARE Evaluator, Colorado Department of Education

Michelle Malvey, Behavioral Health Training Specialist, Colorado Department of Education

Kyle Pacqué, Project AWARE Co-Coordinator, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Tripti Sharma, Project AWARE Co-Coordinator, Colorado Behavioral Health Administration

Kirstin Hoagland, Project AWARE Suicide Prevention Training Coordinator, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment