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About Project AWARE

 The Colorado Department of Education was awarded $10 million by The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) spread over five years to build infrastructure and expand the capacity of the state and district partners around mental health. Colorado’s Project AWARE worked 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 collaborated with behavioral health stakeholders across the state to improve mental health awareness and response. In addition to broader, statewide activities, Project AWARE partnered with three local education agencies (LEAs) to support best practices to inform Colorado schools and communities interested in accomplishing similar goals. These partner LEAs included Aurora Public Schools, Fountain-Fort Carson School District, and Thompson School District. 

In addition to our LEA partners, Project AWARE worked with Mental Health First Aid to provide Youth/MHFA training across the state. Using this and other evidence-based programs, Project AWARE focused on improving school climate, safety, and substance abuse prevention. Through increased collaboration based on a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), models were developed to sustainably fund the provision of high impact school and community-based behavioral and behavioral health services.

Please Note: The Project AWARE grant funding concluded on October 1, 2019.

For more information contact:

Omar Estrada, Former Project AWARE Program Manager
Phone: 303.866.6455

Project AWARE Documents and Other Resources



School Behavioral Health Framework