When it came to tackling the all-important issue of mental health in Oconto County, Bellin Health Oconto Hospital and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital knew they would be stronger together—and that teaming with the community would be key to making real progress for the patients and communities they serve.
The county’s 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment identified mental health as a top priority, and the COVID-19 pandemic only served to underscore the need. Since then, the multi-partner Oconto County Mental Health Work Group has been laser-focused on a multifaceted plan to address mental health needs for youth and adults alike.
“There is no question that we can accomplish more working together than we ever could on our own,” said Bellin Health Oconto Hospital Vice President and co-chair of the Healthy Oconto County Steering Team Julie Bieber. “The level of collaboration has been outstanding, and we continue to work with and learn from the incredible health system and community partners that bring so much to the table.”
Director of Community Benefits & Advocacy at HSHS Wisconsin and fellow Healthy Oconto County Steering Team Co-Chair David Lally added, “Many of these partners have been doing great work in this space for some time, and it’s inspiring to see the care and commitment they have to this community. By working together, we are able to take it to the next level, now and into the future.”
In addition to the health systems, the Healthy Oconto County Mental Health Work Group includes representation from schools, local government, public health, diocesan leaders, community agencies, law enforcement, veterans’ services and more. It aims to promote optimal mental health for Oconto County residents by increasing awareness of and access to mental health services and resources.
“We look forward to continuing to make a difference for this community,” Bieber said, “and we are 100 percent in this together.”