A Healthier Wisconsin

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:$999,960.00
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.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Provided 44 Mental Health First Aid trainings to 23 workplaces and community members across sectors and created the Mental Health First Aid Coalition to collaborate and share best practices across Northeast Wisconsin
  • Established and grew the Network of Care website to support community awareness and access to mental health resources with the website receiving an average of 200 visits per day and over 300,000 total visits
  • Collaborated with existing collective impact organizations and information systems enabling all to work stronger together through shared resources, including collaboration with the Community Information System (CIS) team to add mental health data fields to the existing database and engaged in the formation of a Collective Impact Hub for shared space and resources across four collective impact initiatives

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