The Northeast Mental Health Connection was born out of the findings from the LIFE Study, a ThedaCare Plunge, and a Mental Health Summit in 2011. The community was further motivated by a cluster of teen suicides that shook the Fox Valley. We have been working collaboratively since then 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 Connection’s core functions are to: Guide vision and strategy by building a common understanding of the problem, support aligned activities by facilitating communication and collaboration, build public will to create as sense of urgency and articulate the call to action, establish shared measurement practices, advance and advocate for an aligned policy agenda, and mobilize funding to support our goals.
The Connection is a membership organization, and has expanded to over 80 members across the tri-county region, with new members joining every month. Member agencies include, not only the 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. Other members include School districts, municipalities, law enforcement agencies, clergy/faith communities, individual community members and mental health providers (large and small).