TRUCKEE, Calif. – Mental health access and support continues to be a critical issue for mountain communities across North America. The Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust announced that Rob Katz, executive chairman of Vail Resorts, and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, have made significant contributions totaling more than $2.66 million to support mental and behavioral health programs. in 12 mountain communities, including 10 where Vail Resorts operate.
For the past eight years, Katz and Amsterdam, co-founders of the Katz Amsterdam Foundation and the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust, have led efforts to increase mental health resources in mountain communities and helped change the behavioral health landscape.
As of 2016, contributions from Katz Amsterdam now total over $56 million. The 13 grants issued by Katz Amsterdam will further enable collaboration and innovation in 12 mountain communities in Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Vermont, Washington and British Columbia.
“Seeing acceptance and conversations about mental health continue to grow in our mountain communities is inspiring,” said Rob Katz, co-founder and board president of the Katz Amsterdam Foundation. “We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to help these organizations and support their collective missions to improve access to much-needed health services and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.”
Katz Amsterdam strives to be a catalyst for eliminating inequalities, increasing access to opportunities and improving outcomes for all. As a foundation, their priority is to support community-led work that meaningfully improves the lives of all individuals and the social well-being of communities.
“The Katz Amsterdam Foundation has been an important partner in addressing the mental health needs of our community,” said Stacy Caldwell, chief executive officer of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, a recipient of the Katz Amsterdam grant. The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation connects people and opportunities to generate resources to build a more caring, creative and effective community.
“With Katz Amsterdam’s investment, we have developed a regional roadmap that identifies gaps and opportunities in our mental health support,” continues Caldwell. “The Katz Amsterdam network acts as an incubator in which mountain cities can gain invaluable knowledge from each other and use approaches that have been tested and proven in similar environments. We are truly grateful for the significant impact this unique partnership brings to our community.”
The Katz Amsterdam grants are in addition to Vail Resorts’ annual EpicPromise grants, which support more than 400 nonprofit organizations throughout the mountain communities where the company operates. As reported in the recently published Environmental and Social Responsibility ReportVail Resorts awarded $28.1 million in community grants during the 2022/23 season to support key priority needs, including affordable child care, housing and food security.
In addition to their focus on mountain communities, Vail Resorts offers mental health support to employees, including six free counseling sessions per year for team members, their dependents and roommates. The company also offers convenient tools at no cost, including a wellness app, personal training, and virtual and in-person therapy.