The NEW Mental Health Connection invites you to the community’s fourth-annual Mental Health Awareness Month kickoff, planned for 12 noon, Monday, May 2, in downtown Appleton’s Houdini Plaza. ThedaCare is a member of the NEW Mental Health Connection.
We invite you to stop by Houdini Plaza over the lunch hour for a 45-minute program where we will be joined by community leaders, mental health supporters, Gannett Wisconsin Media, and 91.1 The Avenue, and, collectively, we will stand up against stigma.
This is the fourth year that the NEW Mental Health Connection, and its member agencies, have joined efforts to kick off May Mental Health Awareness Month and bring the community together with the goal of improving our community’s mental health literacy, breaking down the negative stereotypes surrounding mental health disorders, and creating a supportive and caring community for families and individuals affected by mental illness. We will be filling Houdini Plaza with chairs, with one in five marked with a green mental health awareness ribbon.
We will be inviting attendees and passersby throughout the day to write anonymous messages and tape them to the chairs, giving voice to those who have been touched by mental illness, whether writing about their own experience, or in honor or memory of others.
Green awareness ribbons will be available for $1 and t-shirts for $10. Proceeds will benefit future May Mental Health Awareness Month activities. Be sure to check our website throughout the month of May for a complete listing/calendar of awareness events and mental health educational opportunities.
We’d like to give a special thanks to the Leadership Fox Cities’ “Green Team,” which is helping lead this year’s campaign. The team has secured sponsorships for billboards and bus signs and plans to distribute 10,000 green mental health awareness ribbons throughout the Fox Cities during the month of May!
Background on the Northeast Wisconsin Mental Health Connection:
The NEW Mental Health Connection was formed in 2011, and works collaboratively to ‘move the needle’ on large-scale, systemic and complex issues of mental health. As a backbone agency, the Connection’s mission is to lead the collaboration of community stakeholders to create and continuously improve an exceptional mental health system of care for Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet Counties.
The NEW MHC is a membership organization, and has expanded to over 50 members across the tri-county region, with new members joining every month. Member agencies include, not only the three large health systems, ThedaCare, Affinity and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, but community-based agencies like NAMI Fox Valley, the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, and Homeless Connections. School districts, municipalities, law enforcement agencies, clergy/faith communities, individual community members and mental health providers (large and small) are also members.
The work of the NEWMHC has been organized around 6 initiatives:
- Suicide prevention (Zero Suicide)
- Substance Abuse prevention and treatment (Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition)
- Crisis/Stabilization services (24/7 Crisis)
- Access to mental health services (No Wrong Door)
- Mental health services for children (Children’s Mental Health)
- Training in mental health care for primary care providers (Mental Health Integration Project)
For information on becoming a member, leading or serving on an initiative, other committees and projects of the NEW Mental Health Connection, please visit our website at www.newmentalhealthconnection.org, or contact Executive Director, Beth Clay, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-720-3770. We look forward to having you join us at the Kick off on May 2nd!