Creating Mental Wellness in Brown County

Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative Phase II: Reducing the number of poor mental health days in Brown County

Full Project Name:Creating Mental Wellness Through Systems ChangePrimary Community Organization:Connections for Mental WellnessPrimary Academic Partner:Michelle Broaddus, PhD Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:$999,960
Award Date
Project Duration:60 months

Project Description Narrative:

Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative Phase II Collected annually, the measure of poor mental health days asks community residents a key question: "Thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression and problems with emotions, for how many days in the past 30 days was your mental health not good?" In analyzing data relevant to Brown County, it was identified that 33% of employed adults reported one or more poor mental health day and 12% of employed respondents reported 10 or more poor mental health days per month. In addition, 93% of Brown County adults who contemplated suicide in 2016 were employed. To address the needs of this population and support better access to services and systems to provide mental health support across the community, project partners seek to reduce the incidence of poor mental health days per capita in Brown County by 1.5% per year for the next five years (totaling 7.5%), lowering poor mental health days from 40.8 to 37.8 by 2022 by: • Supporting 125 workplaces with 25 or more employees (20% of employers in Brown Co.) in adopting or modifying mental health/wellness programs, policies or practices to address employee stress, psychological trauma and/or depression • Increasing community access points to mental health services and information through multiple community sectors • Developing a local workforce of employment-ready mental health counselors to increase community capacity to provide services 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.

Project Updates:

• The community coalition, Connections for Mental Wellness (Connections), has had continued success in the progress and growth of all five workgroups. Each workgroup has a well-rounded representation of the various sectors/organizations within the community that the work will impact. Not only are workgroup members working towards a common agenda and continue to align components of their organizations (where/when appropriate), they also continue to build trust and collaboration between organizations, which in turn strengthens Connections, and ultimately Brown County’s, ability to improve the mental health of our community.
• As time progresses, and as Connections continues making progress, the trust and collaboration among stakeholders continues to grow. Different systems within Brown County are starting to work more collectively instead of working in silos, a large accomplishment for Connections and for Brown County as a whole.
• The project successfully trained 55 participants from 20 different agencies in three separate Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings, thus increasing the number of non-traditional access points in the community trained in mental health. Such trainings have been in high demand and four more trainings have already been scheduled in Brown County between May and August 2019.
• The City of Green Bay Police Department partnered with Connections, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Brown County with in-kind support from N.E.W. Psychiatry Program (MCW-Green Bay) to host a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for 40 law enforcement officers. This training is designed for law enforcement officers and dispatchers who, in their duties, are frequently called upon to deal with individuals who are living with mental illness.

AHW Logo

8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350