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Chippewa Valley awarded $1 million to support Youth Mental Health

(KOTA)
Published: Jul. 7, 2017 at 8:46 AM CDT
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The Eau Claire City-County Health Department released the following news release.

After a year of planning, the Mental Health Matter’s project was awarded funding for the next five years by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The goal of the grant is to promote youth resilience and mental health in the Chippewa Valley. This funding is part of AHW’s initiative focused on improving community behavioral health. As part of its mission to improve health in Wisconsin, AHW supports community projects that lead to improvements in health at the local level.

Locally, eighteen organizations from Chippewa and Eau Claire counties came together over the last year to form the Mental Health Matters Coalition and complete the first phase of the initiative. They found that 28% of local middle and high school-age youth felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row in the last year. To change this, the coalition looked to strategies to build resilience, or the ability of youth to adapt to difficulties. All youth, including those who have a history with adverse childhood experiences, can be supported by factors that increase resilience.

“Mental health is a complex issue that will take all of us working together to support those who work with youth. Our work will ensure that youth have the tools necessary for resiliency to cope with stress and adversity,” says Angie Weideman, Director/Officer of Chippewa County Public Health.

As the project moves into the next phase, it will focus on providing information and resources for youth-serving professionals in the Chippewa Valley to increase understanding of the connections between youth mental health and adverse childhood experiences, trauma, protective factors, and resilience, and identify every day actions to support resilient youth. In addition to resources for the workforce, the project will support mindfulness stress reduction strategies in schools. And key decision-makers at schools and other community organizations will benefit from a newly developed data system around mental health.

“We are thankful to the funders for providing our community with the opportunity to focus on prevention. Prevention activities have a direct correlation to healthy communities. We know that strong communities raise strong kids,” says Diane Cable, Director of Eau Claire County Department of Human

Services.

The following organizations serve on the Mental Health Matters Coalition:

Chippewa County Public Health Department

Chippewa Health Improvement Partnership

Chippewa County Department of Human Services

Chippewa Falls Police Department

Chippewa Falls Unified School District

Eau Claire Area School District

Eau Claire County Department of Human Services

Eau Claire City-County Health Department

Eau Claire Healthy Communities

Eau Claire Police Department

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital

HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital

Joining our Neighbors Advancing Hope (JONAH)

Marshfield Clinic

Mayo Clinic Health System

Security Health Plan

United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley

UW Extension-Eau Claire County

 Locally, eighteen organizations from Chippewa and Eau Claire counties came together over the last year to form the Mental Health Matters Coalition and complete the first phase of the initiative.