The Aspen Valley Foundation is proud to announce that the Aspen Hope Center has completed its incubation period with the Foundation and will now go on as an independent 501-c-3 non-profit organization. The Hope Center received its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service last spring and has developed an exceptional track record of professional success to make the transition to independence possible.
Formed by the Aspen Valley Foundation in June 2010, the Aspen Hope Center has served over 1800 new clients throughout the valley with information and referral services, crisis intervention and stabilization, community education, as well as numerous collaborations. Nearly 76% of those 1800 new clients were crisis-related in nature. The Aspen Hope Center has trained over 2500 Roaring Fork Valley residents in suicide prevention. A study to assess the unmet mental health needs in the Roaring Fork Valley was commissioned by the Foundation in 2009 and conducted by the University of Colorado Denver Depression Center. The study presented 50 concrete recommendations in December and in just six months, the Aspen Hope Center opened its doors.
“The Foundation contributed $1.4million over three years to give the Aspen Hope Center a strong start,” stated Kris Marsh, President and CEO of the Foundation. “We always planned to facilitate their independence by the end of this year and we are certainly ahead of schedule. We are tremendously proud of the accomplishments of the Hope Center in saving lives in our community. We are certain that they will continue and flourish in the future as a sustainable mental health program.”
Other non-profit groups that the Foundation has incubated over the years include Pathfinders, The Right Door, Susan G. Komen Foundation/Aspen, Hospice of the Valley, the Aspen Homeless Shelter, and the Continuing Care Retirement Community.
Michelle Muething, LPC, Program Director of the Aspen Hope Center, stated that “I am so very honored to be a part of the Hope Center and know that we would not be where we are today without the support of the Foundation and a community who believes so deeply in what we do. The past three and a half years have proven to be so successful; and all of us at the Hope Center look forward toward the future and our excited to continue the work of helping others.”
Sandy Iglehart, board member of the Aspen Hope Center, said of the transition, “I am excited about the future of the Hope Center and what it holds for us. With the foundations generous support we have been able to establish ourselves and launch many valuable programs that serve this valley, and have proven to be very successful. My passion remains strong to eradicate the shame and stigma that still surrounds mental health issues, and to continue a dialogue regarding them. We hope we will have the community’s support in moving forward, and maintaining these vital services”.
Drew Andrews, Principal of Roaring Fork High School, said, “the Hope Center provides me with an assurance that student mental health needs are being met. Without their assistance, many students would be much further behind in becoming healthy and happy people”.
Another collaborator, Dr. Brooke Allen, spoke highly of the Aspen Hope Center and described her experience as such: “I have worked closely with the Hope Center for years, connecting patients who are really suffering with a lifeline that not only responds to the call by coming immediately to my office if needed, but follows up day after day with that person directly for ongoing support.”
The Aspen Hope Center will continue in their Aspen location in the Airport Business Center and will also serve clients in Carbondale for crisis assessments and individual therapy. The Hope Center can be reached by calling 925-5858, a number staffed by licensed clinicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or by mail at PO Box 1115, Basalt, CO 81621.