Addressing Mental Health and Physical Activity in K-12 Children in Colorado Springs

At a Glance:

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Date: 2016

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Belonging and Civic Muscle

Determinants of Health: nutrition, belonging and civic muscle, healthcare access, parks, physical activity, healthcare access

Affected Population: Children and Youth

Research Methods: Literature review, Qualitative research, Primary research, Quantitative research

Community Types: urban

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The Colorado School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado collaborated on a pilot project to integrate HIA into hospital community benefit activities. The HIA conducted a program assessment and reviewed literature and evidence-based approaches to implementing school-based health centers (SBHCs). SBHCs provide medical and nonmedical services to children who are underinsured, uninsured, or do not have access to adequate care.

The report produced recommendations based on two priority areas identified in Children’s Hospital Colorado’s community health needs assessment of El Paso County: mental health and the combined effects of physical activity, nutrition, and obesity in school-age children. The HIA also examined how school-based health centers can address these needs. It determined that a network of partnerships between local community organizations and the school system was critical to the success of Colorado Springs’ only SBHC. It recommended forming a community task force, to be led by Children’s Hospital Colorado, to expand SBHCs. The recommendations informed the hospital’s community improvement implementation plan, which is one of several federal requirements for maintaining the hospital’s nonprofit status.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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