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, Vail Resorts executive chairperson, 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 operates.
For the past eight years, Katz and Amsterdam, co-founders of the Katz Amsterdam Foundation and Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust, have led efforts to augment mental health resources in mountain communities and have helped to shift the landscape of behavioral health.
Since 2016, contributions from Katz Amsterdam now total over $56 million. The 13 grants issued by Katz Amsterdam will further enable collaboration and innovation across 12 mountain communities in Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Vermont, Washington, and British Columbia.
“Watching the acceptance and conversations surrounding 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 lucky 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 inequities, increasing access to opportunity, and improving outcomes for all. As a foundation, their priority is to support community-driven work that meaningfully improves the lives of all individuals and the social well-being of communities.
“The Katz Amsterdam Foundation has been an instrumental partner in addressing our community’s mental health needs,” said Stacy Caldwell, chief executive officer of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, a Katz Amsterdam grant recipient. 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 supports,” continues Caldwell. “The Katz Amsterdam network acts as an incubator in which mountain towns can gain invaluable insights from one another and employ approaches that have been tested and proven in similar environments. We are truly grateful for the meaningful impact that this unique partnership brings to our community.”
The Katz Amsterdam grants are in addition to the annual EpicPromise grants from Vail Resorts, which support more than 400 nonprofits across mountain communities where the company operates. As reported in the recently released Environmental & Social Responsibility Report, Vail Resorts donated $28.1 million in community grants during the 2022/23 season to support top priority needs including affordable childcare, housing and food security.
In addition to their focus on mountain communities, Vail Resorts provides mental health support for employees, including six free counseling sessions per year for team members, their dependents, and roommates. The company also offers convenient no-cost tools including a wellness app, personal coaching, and virtual and in-person therapy.