AmeriCorps Week: Spark Health Corps.

Fast Facts: Mental Health

Did you know that we are experiencing “historic shifts in health, access to care, and social and economic conditions” with more youth and adults reporting poor mental health than ever before? Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among the ages of 10-14, and nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year. This is roughly one death every 40 seconds. Currently 26% of Americans report poor mental health and nearly half receive no treatment, due to lack of access.

This is not only a National crisis, but one that also hits close to home. Mental illness and distress is increasing at an alarming rate in the state of Colorado, above that of national averages. In 2019 15.3% of Coloradans reported poor mental health as compared to 11.9% in 2017. This trend is continuing at an exponential rate, with 34.9% of Coloradans reporting poor mental health in 2021. That’s more than 2 million friends, family members, and neighbors in the state of Colorado who are struggling, many without any help.

Barriers to Care

Of those who are unable to seek mental health treatment in Colorado, 61.1% of individuals cited cost as the primary reason, and 1 in 5 individuals skipped some type of necessary care due to cost. 83% didn’t have insurance coverage for mental health services and 10.5% were unable to take off work in order to seek care. In response, communities are finding creative and unique ways to bridge the gap, because no one should have to struggle with mental illness alone.

(sources:, The 2021 Colorado Health Access Survey)

Bridging the Gap: Spark Health Corps.

At Spark the Change Colorado, we believe access to necessary care is a right. Over the years, we have seen the power of Colorado and the change makers who live here. We feel it is our duty to support all Colorado communities in the ways that they need, especially when it comes to mental wellness.

Our new Spark Health Corps. program is a Public Health AmeriCorps Program that engages mental health associates who provide in person mental health supports to K-12 students at public charter schools across Colorado.

Ideal candidates for this Paid Service Opportunity are those who:

  • are pursuing a career in school counseling, school social work, school psychology, or a related mental health field, or
  • are currently licensed or a candidate for licensure in a mental health field, or
  • are undergraduates seeking alternative pathways to attaining a Special Services Provider (SSP) credential

Learn more here: or contact Program Manager, Barb Knapp at

How YOU Can Help!

Our Spark Health Corps. Program and its dedicated mental health associates continue to provide these necessary services through the support, engagement, and giving of community change makers like you. We ask that you lead with your passions and dedicate to supporting a cause that means something to you. If quality and affordable mental health services access for all is something that you feel passionate about, consider giving to Spark the Change Colorado and Spark Health Corps.

Ways to Give

Join the Movement of Good — It’s the Colorado Way! Spark a Connection in the following ways:

  1. You can make a donation: if you’d like to support our efforts as an organization, or allocate your gift directly to Mental Wellness
  2. You can volunteer: We are currently recruiting Senior Companion Volunteers in all service areas. Join our team of change makers by volunteering today!
  3. You can become a Spark Member:  Do you represent an organization that regularly recruits volunteers? Become a Spark Member and access benefits and opportunities to support your volunteer program!
  4. You can learn more about us and our programs: Knowledge is power, and only YOU know what your community needs! Learn more about our programs and opportunities so you can spread the word and become an ambassador for your local community. 
  5. You can Join our Emailing Lists: Stay up-to-date on all things Spark by joining our email lists!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s