Healthy Teen Minds

etHealthy Teen Minds is an eight-year initiative to improve the mental health of teens in our tri-county region – Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties. The work is funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The funding is part of AHW’s initiative focused on improving community behavioral health.

The goal of the project is to reduce the rate of depression among teens by implementing population-level strategies that focus on prevention, promoting resiliency and coping skills among youth, and interventions for struggling teens.

The Healthy Teen Minds Project, a grant-funded initiative of the Northeast Wisconsin Mental Health Connection, is working to improve the mental health of ALL teenagers in the tri-county region  (Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet counties) using an upstream approach to mental health promotion and suicide prevention.

Healthy Teen Minds, in partnership with The Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley and the UW-Extension – Winnebago County, is working with area high schools to implement Sources of Strength, a mental health wellness program that utilizes the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture to ultimately prevent suicide, bullying, violence, and substance abuse. It’s one of the nation’s most rigorously researched peer leader programs and is presently on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

With funding support from Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, The Connection is making Sources of Strength more affordable and accessible for high schools in the region to adopt. Having developed a regional “trained trainer” model, the Healthy Teen Minds project now has its own nationally certified regional trainers, reducing the cost of implementation by 75 percent, to roughly $4,000 per school for a three-year implementation.

So far, 17 area high schools have joined this initiative and have adopted Sources of Strength. The Connection is now inviting high schools in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties to join its fourth cohort of schools to implement the program during 2020-21 school year.  For more information, contact Wendy Magas, Project Coordinator, at

Sources of Strength “Trainer the Trainer” – Summer 2020

The Northeast Wisconsin Mental Health Connection is pleased to host a Sources of Strength “Train the Trainer” Advanced Skills Session for school and district staff. The four-day training will be held in Menasha, WI from Aug. 3 – 6, 2020. 

This intensive training opportunity led by National Sources of Strength trainers will prepare participants to become provisional Sources of Strength trainers within their own schools or school districts and will be subject to the Sources of Strength Trainer certification requirements The certification process will be supported by our regional Sources of Strength trainers, Mandi Dornfeld and Carlyn Andrew. Trainees will be able to meet certification requirements by co-training with the certified trainers at their own school/district over a two-year period.

The cost to attend has been reduced to $500 per registrant and will cover training, supplies, and snacks each day. Each district may compensate for mileage, lunch expenses, and/or work time as individual policies allow.

Click her for a description of the skills required to become a trainer. 

Priority will be given to individuals connected to schools and districts in Northeast Wisconsin that are implementing Sources of Strength through The Connection’s Healthy Teen Minds Initiative and ThedaCare’s Sources of Strength Initiative. We encourage you to apply before March 17, when any remaining spots in the training will be offered to schools and districts statewide. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and we will inform you promptly as admission decisions are made.


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