Each of Wisconsin’s LEAs: Racine, Menominee and Beloit, convened a SS/HS Core Management Team (CMT) to collaboratively lead, plan, and implement local SS/HS strategies to address the needs of students, families, and community. Needs assessment data confirmed that substance use was a serious concern leading to the implementation of alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) screenings, prevention, and intervention services to prevent behavioral health problems.
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Wisconsin’s SS/HS Team and partners committed to promote and improve recognition and treatment of mental health challenges through improved inter-agency collaboration and improved access to treatment.
The Menominee Indian School District (MISD), located on the Menominee Tribal Nation in northeastern Wisconsin, was the only Native American LEA to participate in SAMHSA’s SS/HS State Expansion Program. Ninety-two percent of MISD’s students are Native American and 85% of students are economically disadvantaged suggesting a vulnerable and at-risk population. Historical trauma has affected the way of life for Menominee families and their children. Menominee’s economic, socioeconomic, behavioral health, and physical health issues are deeply rooted in past trauma.
The SS/HS Initiative set an overarching goal to increase family engagement in schools. One key feature of this goal focused on the needs of parents and caregivers who struggled in navigating multiple child serving systems and in accessing services for their child with serious mental and/or behavioral health needs. As a result, Wisconsin’s state team partnered with Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT), the statewide family organization, to establish Parent Peer Support (PPS) providers in LEA’s across the state as a strategy to connect families, schools, and community.
Wisconsin’s SS/HS State Team and LEA’s worked in collaboration with the state Pyramid Model Implementation Team to expand early childhood social emotional learning (SEL) and development across the state through 1) broad implementation of the Pyramid Model, and 2) improving early identification of children at risk for SEL difficulties. By 2017, Wisconsin had 20 additional Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ-SE) trainers with the capacity to reach 180 districts and community partners; and 103 new Positive Solutions for Families trainers.