A Healthier Wisconsin

Eau Claire Mental Health Matters (Phase II)

Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative Phase II: Decreasing the number of youth at risk for depression

Full Project Name:Mental Health Matters: Promoting Resilience for Chippewa Valley YouthPrimary Community Organization:Eau Claire City-County Health DepartmentPrimary Academic Partner:Michelle Broaddus, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:$1,000,000.00
Award Date
Project Duration:60 months

Project Description Narrative:

Advancing Behavioral Health Initiative Phase II

Reporting four or more ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) is an indicator of future poor mental health outcomes, and this risk factor is present in one in seven of all community members in Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties. Additionally, current data indicate that approximately 30% (3,600) of area middle and high school public school students are at risk for depression as reported on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

With a focus on factors that will protect youth from developing depression, including for youth with exposure to ACEs, this project seeks to decrease the number of middle- and high school-age youth who are at risk for depression by 15% (from 28% to 24%) by:

• Increasing capacity of the youth-serving workforce across sectors to build protective factors and resilience for Eau Claire and Chippewa county youth

• Building staff skills to contribute to a positive school climate and youth social-emotional skills

• Creating policy and change practice to improve youth mental health and resilience through use of a systematic, sustainable approach to data-driven decision-making


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.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Trained almost 2,000 professionals across more than 90 organizations spanning education, healthcare, government, parents/community members, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations about adverse childhood experiences and youth resilience resulting in over 20 policy and practices changes across nine organizations to positively impact youth resilience
  • Engaged over 120 staff from nine schools to participant in mindfulness training resulting in over 50% of participants practicing mindfulness formally, 82% of participants practicing mindfulness informally, and 89% of participants using mindfulness strategies with students and observing positive changes in students as a result
  • Increased the number of schools in the community who administered the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from one district to 11 districts allowing for county-level data to be available and disseminated and the creation of a Youth Mental Health Scorecard to support data-driven decision-making
  • Developed cross-sector partnerships that allowed for effective collaboration in other areas, including collaboration to address the COVID-19 pandemic

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