Vail CEO Rob Katz donates $2.8M for mental health in mountain communities | Squamish Chief

Vail CEO Rob Katz donates $2.8M for mental health in mountain communities

New Squamish Youth Resource Centre to receive grant

The ups and downs of mountain life in a resort community can be difficult to navigate. Where there’s great access to nature, there often isn’t the access to mental health services to match.

A total of $2.8 million in donations from the Katz Amsterdam Foundation, created by CEO of Vail, Rob Katz, and his wife Elana Amsterdam, seeks to address the need for mental health support in communities that often face substance use, lack of available providers and feelings of isolation.

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“It has been inspiring to see the shared desire that exists across each of our mountain communities to make a difference, to help others and to ignite a passion for creating truly healthy communities,” Katz said in a press release.

“We are thrilled to be able to help unite so many incredible organizations and support their collective efforts to improve access to much-needed health services and reduce the stigma and misunderstanding around these issues.”

Of the 17 recipients across B.C. and the U.S., four are located in the Sea to Sky Corridor. The Sea to Sky Community Services Society will receive $75,000 for the new Squamish Youth Resource Centre. The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, which serves the corridor, will have $130,000 to help fill gaps in behavioral health programs and services. Two more Whistler-based organizations will also receive funding.

The executive director of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Mei Madden, said in a press release that the foundation is fortunate to be chosen

“The funds awarded will have a significant impact over the next year as we work to gain a greater understanding of the services and programs that are offered in our local communities and work with key stakeholders to identify gaps or barriers that may exist.”

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