Partnerships with schools

It’s a fact: healthy kids learn better. That’s true of their physical well-being and their mental and behavioral health as well. To help support kids at school and allow them to reach their full potential, Children’s Wisconsin has a number of school-based health initiatives. 

School-based mental health 

One in five students comes to school with a diagnosable mental or behavioral health concern that affects their ability to learn. Yet many kids face a variety of barriers to receiving the care they need, everything from not enough trained therapists in the state to lack of convenient clinic locations. That’s why Children’s Wisconsin started our School-Based Mental Health Program. We wanted to bring the care to the child.

Children’s Wisconsin currently provides school-based mental health services in more than 40 schools statewide, focusing on early detection and prevention and reducing stigma surrounding mental health. Children’s Wisconsin family therapists work directly in schools to:

  • Provide individual counseling and group therapy
  • Consult with parents and teachers to support a child’s success
  • Work with school staff to foster a healthy environment

Offering these services within schools means increased access in an environment that is comfortable and familiar to kids and families. The goal of Children’s Wisconsin is to double the reach and impact of this program by 2024.

Children's Wisconsin e-learning programs

As with anything, kids need to learn how to be healthy. And an integral part of overall child health is their social and emotional well-being. Children’s Wisconsin connects with educators and students in schools throughout the state to deliver valuable mental and behavioral health education and support in a number of different ways. 

Through Healthy Kids Learn More, educators have access to online programming and resources that address social and emotional health in interactive and engaging ways. Children’s Wisconsin e-learning programs are available at no cost to Wisconsin schools. They include:

Healthy Minds (Grades 3 and 4) 

Healthy Minds provides an engaging look at what makes a healthy mind and introduces the skills needed to help students lead healthy lives. The course addresses:

  • Recognizing feelings and emotions and learning how to deal with them
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Stress
  • Healthy relationships
  • Common mental health disorders and concerns
  • How to get help when needed.

Healthy Minds aligns with the American School Counselors Association Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Social and Emotional Learning competencies.

Act Now! Bullying prevention (Grades K-8)

Bullying is a serious issue that affects thousands of students each day. In fact, more than one in five students report being bullied. Students experiencing bullying are at greater risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression.

Act Now! is a continuum of bullying prevention e-learning courses designed for students, school staff and parents developed in collaboration with Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Act Now! addresses all types of bullying, including cyberbullying and sexual harassment. The program empowers bystanders to stand up to bullying and improve overall school climate. A staff training program is available and recommended for optimal success in reducing bullying. An interactive parent education website called Parents Act Now! is also available.

Take 5ive Mindfulness (Grades K-12)

Take 5ive Mindfulness is a series of guided practice videos that can be integrated into the school day to help improve focus and attention, decrease stress and anxiety, increase feelings of kindness and compassion, and increase the ability to manage emotions. Take 5ive was created in partnership with Growing Minds.

Mission: Healthy Kids

Mission: Healthy Kids, a partnership of Kohl’s Cares and Children’s Wisconsin, promotes policy, systems and environmental changes in schools in the areas of nutrition, physical activity and healthy minds. In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Wisconsin School Health Awards, Mission: Healthy Kids also offers resources and information to families focused on these topics.