The Northeast Wisconsin Mental Health Connection and its members hosted the 9th annual May Mental Health Awareness Month kick-off event, via Zoom, on Thursday, May 13. The virtual event featured the Siebers family journey as survivors of suicide loss, and a presentation on how the pandemic has impacted our mental health, and specifically that of middle-aged men, by Dr. Andrew Schramm, Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


This year’s month-long awareness campaign, with a focus on strengthening adult mental health and suicide prevention in our community, will feature the “Strong Minds 4 Men” awareness campaign; a live webinar series, and a new community wellness survey to assess the mental and physical health of adults in the Fox Cities.

“As the pandemic stretches into a second year, we are acutely aware of the toll it is taking on our mental health,” said Beth Clay, executive director of The Connection. “Our community – and entire country – is struggling with increased rates of anxiety, depression and suicidality.

“For the past decade, our coalition has been hard at work to improve our mental health system of care and make it easier for people to connect to help. Our work has never been more important – and urgent – as it is now. We invite the community to join us, in a call to action, to learn more about how we can all play a part to improve our collective mental health.”

The year’s month-long campaign and call to action includes:


Community Webinar Series

Beginning on May 6, Project Zero will also be hosting an educational webinar each Thursday during May (including the kickoff event) focused on mental health and suicide prevention. Webinars are free and open to the public and will be held on Zoom starting at 7:30 a.m. 

May 6: Safe Suicide Messaging
Click here to view video recording!

May 13: Mental Health Awareness Month Kick Off Event
Click here to view video recording!

May 20: Police-Based & Alternative Models of Response to Mental Health Crisis
Click here to view video recording!

May 27:  People in Crisis – Strengthening the Emergency Response –
Local and State Perspectives and  Recommendations
Click here to view video recording!

Strong Minds 4 Men

Strong Minds 4 Men is an ongoing campaign that was developed by the Zero Suicide Initiative and Project Zero, a grant-funded initiative of The Connection that is working to reduce adult suicides and suicide-related behaviors in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties.

In honor of their son Jake, who died by suicide three years ago, the Siebers Family is helping to raise awareness about men’s mental health by sponsoring Strong Minds 4 Men beverage coasters which will be distributed at local bars and restaurants. The coasters feature the website, which includes stories of recovery, self-care, frequently asked questions on “what happens next” when you reach out for help, and a FREE, anonymous mental health screener. 

Fox Cities Mind Your Wellness Survey

Project Zero is launching a new community health survey that will gather in-depth information on the mental health and suicide-related behaviors and attitudes of adults in the Fox Cities. Businesses and organizations are invited to share the “Fox Cities Mind Your Wellness Survey” on their websites and social media. Please click to download the flyer and share!

“This survey will produce information critical in the creation of prevention and intervention opportunities for adults in the Fox Cities,” said Sarah Bassing-Sutton, Project Zero coordinator. “Our goal is to have 32,000 surveys completed.”