Project Description Narrative:
Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative Phase II
In 2015, one out of five Marathon County high school students reported that they were depressed in the past year, and nearly one-third reported having three or more poor mental health days in the previous month. In addition, 21.3% of Marathon County 9th-12th grade students were at-risk for depression during the past year according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Analysis of the YRBS results demonstrate a clear link between students who were at-risk for depression and students with poor mental health days with an increase in other health risk behaviors, including self-harm, tobacco and alcohol use, and taking prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription.
To address student poor mental health days and risk for depression as well as related student health issues, project partners aim to reduce reported depression in 6-12th grade students in Marathon County by 5% by 2020 by:
• Increasing accessibility and utilization of on-site mental health counseling services in all 10 Marathon County school districts
• Increasing knowledge and awareness of student population needs among school districts, community agencies, local government entities, and parents through data sharing
• Using local data to more effectively allocate resources across Marathon County public school districts and Marathon County community organizations to address youth needs within schools and community organizations to improve behavioral health outcomes
This project is part of AHW's Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative, an eight-year, $20 million initiative bringing together 10 community coalitions from across Wisconsin to address pressing mental health needs within their communities. The initiative is designed in three phases, providing a funded planning year, a five-year implementation period, and a two-year sustainable transformation phase.