By: Jessica Barreto

September 22, 2018

DENVER – A state-wide annual gala is honoring Governor John Hickenlooper — along with a teen and a company out of Colorado Springs for being leaders in the mental health and substance abuse treatment community.

Mental Health Colorado honored 17-year-old Macy Klein at their annual Tribute Gala for starting the non-profit Project Reasons after she overcame her own struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Don Brown from the Governor’s Cabinet presented her with the “Individual of the Year” award.

Macy Klein poses for a picture with Governor John Hickenlooper and Commissioner Don Brown
Macy Klein poses for a picture with Governor John Hickenlooper and Commissioner Don Brown (Courtest: Ginger Klein)

Klein started Project Reasons a couple of years ago when she was just 15 years old.

The non-profit’s school board spans across seven school districts and has 12 members.

Klein wanted create an avenue for peer-to-peer guidance so others can learn from her own experience and see it as hope that they, too, can find help.

“It’s a different perspective to have someone who once went through that and is now healthy be speaking to the issue of suicide,” Klein said.
“That really allows teenagers to see that I’m just like them. I’ve had many of the same struggles that they do.”

Klein says her goal is to make Project Reasons a national organization so that it’s available to students in schools across the country.

The Colorado Springs company GE Johnson Construction also honored as “Employer of the Year” for helping their employees with substance abuse treatment.

Mental Health Colorado recognized Governor Hickenlooper for his work to improve mental health and substance treatment.

Contributions they cited include a housing program initiative which provides job training to help reduce incarceration and homelessness.

Originally appeared on KOAA.