Education and prevention

Through a millage-funded contract, the Washtenaw County Health Department developed a robust anti-stigma campaign that, for the first two years, will focus on Washtenaw County’s youth. 

Representatives from the health department spent the summer of 2019 asking residents what mental health means to their communities and what they hoped to see in a campaign. The team received feedback from more than 300 community members through community conversations, focus groups, and an online survey. 

  • Read about the Washtenaw County Youth Mental Health Campaign's outreach efforts, which included youth, adult, and parent conversations in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Ypsilanti, and Superior Township.

The team also looked at themes and findings from recent My Voice text-based polls that collect open-ended anonymous responses from Washtenaw County youth to better understand how mental health stigma is impacting them.

  • Read about My Voice, and how Washtenaw County teens informed the millage anti-stigma work. 

Based on these community conversations and polling activities, the health department's countywide #WishYouKnew campaign aims to address the disconnect between youth and adults by promoting regular and open communications about mental health. 

In addition to these activities, the Millage Advisory Committee approved a funding application from the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) to support grants of $500 to $5,000, based on student population, for youth-designed anti-stigma activities at all interested Washtenaw County high schools.

In the spring of 2020, campaigns were planned and implemented by students, teachers, and staff at area high schools with support in the form of peer learning collaborative events that help community members plan activities that make sense for their school's unique environment and culture.

Photo of volunteers from the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washtenaw CountyCommunity education and prevention Partners

These mental health awareness, prevention, and early intervention programs were designed and implemented in partnership with families, schools, faith communities, libraries, law enforcement agencies, and health providers, including:

  • Corner Health Center
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness - Washtenaw County Chapter 
  • Packard Health
  • Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office 
  • Washtenaw County Health Department
  • Washtenaw Intermediate School District