The COVID pandemic impacted our community in many ways, and thanks to American Rescue Plan Act Immediate Needs Grant Funding, local organizations were able to weather some of those impacts.
Larimer County used Immediate Needs Grant Funding [INGF] as a conduit to quickly get these urgently needed ARPA funds to organizations to help fund transformational programs in our community.
At their July 18 Administrative Matters meeting, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners heard an overview from The Alliance for Suicide Prevention allianceforsuicideprevention.org/, an INGF recipient. The $34,375 grant funding they received helped improve the REPLY Program [Resiliency Education Protecting the Lives of Youth], a suicide prevention program for middle and high-school-aged youth in Larimer County.
The pandemic placed a tremendous mental health strain on our youth, and the REPLY program helped train youth on the signs and symptoms of those who might need mental health support. The REPLY program was shared at 32 events, schools, and clubs, reaching 5,339 students.
The results from the additional funding were impressive. Here are a few of the benefits of using the Immediate Needs Grant Funding:
59% understood how to support a friend, up 38% from the previous year. Knowledge of how to help someone who is suicidal increased from around 81% to over 88% after training from the previous year.
Familiarity with available resources in Larimer County rose to 98%, up from 58% the previous year.
Another facet of the REPLY project was the installation of an interactive mural on the Fort Collins Community Impact Center wall at 525 Oak St. Fort Collins.
The mural is also audio-interactive with responses to the question asked to over 10,000 Larimer County teens, “What do you want adults to know about mental health?”
At a recent unveiling of the mural, local officials helped hand out 224 gun-safe locks and medication locks to the community.