Mental Health & Substance Use Prevention

Winnebago County Health Department is involved in many mental health and substance use prevention efforts, both of which are growing concerns locally, statewide, and nationally. We work with many community coalitions and partners to lead positive change in systems and environments around these issues. Many of the factors that increase risk for or protect against mental health concerns and substance use are the same; the initiatives below are those that address these factors and cross into both areas of work.

We are also involved in a number of other initiatives more specific to either mental health or substance use

Wellness Screenings

The Connected Community Wellness Screen is a free and voluntary resource for students to receive a mental health "check-in" at school. The Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley provides Wellness Screenings at some local high schools and enhances access to mental health services for local youth. WCHD serves on the advisory council and provides support for screening implementation.

Real Happy Hour

The Real Happy Hour is a tri-county initiative that seeks to strengthen families by promoting time to talk, listen, and connect. WCHD is an active member of the Real Happy Hour initiative, working with community organizations that serve families to promote skills and resources that encourage quality family time.

Social and Place Connectedness

A socially connected community is a place where everyone feels like they belong. It’s a place where people know their neighbours and feel motivated to get involved, build relationships, and contribute to the creation of strong social networks. It’s a place where spaces exist for people to gather with friends and neighbors. And, it’s a place where all planning and strategic initiatives take social connectedness into account (PlanH 2017). Social and place connectedness is a priority of the 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan, and it is also an emerging team initiative for re:TH!NK.

Medicine Disposal (Drug Drop)

Winnebago County residents can dispose unwanted medication at any of the four permanent drug drop sites located at local Police Departments: Fox Crossing, Menasha, Neenah, and Oshkosh. WCHD provides support for these drug drop boxes through promotion of all sites and participation in periodic drug sorts at the Oshkosh Police Department.  

Home Safety

Home safety is important for many reasons, including suicide and substance use prevention. WCHD is involved in several initiatives that promote safe homes and provides a number of resources on issues like gun safety, medication storage, and medication disposal.

Learn more about WCHD's initiatives specific to Mental Health and Substance Use.