Mental Health at the Y

We All Have Mental Health!

Learn about how to care for yourself and others with the Y!

Mental Health is how we think feel act

Which means, we all have mental health! There are many things we can do to take care of our mental health. In fact, the Y is medicine! Let us help you find your Y prescription.

Did you know the Y is Medicine?

At the Y, we focus on healthy living in mind, body and spirit, which includes mental health. So, what is mental health? Mental health is how we THINK – FEEL – ACT. In other words, how we are! What can the Y do to help your mental health? Every time you work out, your body releases chemicals that help increase happiness and reduce stress. Every time you get to know someone at the Y, you are boosting your sense of connection. Giving back to the community increases a sense of purpose. And so much more!

Mental Health at the Y Framework

Mental Health at the Y Community Care Model focuses on mental health:
- Promotion through strategies that increase mental health literacy and awareness
- Risk reduction through strategies that develop and encourage effective coping skills, peer support, and genuine relationships
- Early intervention through education and training, including crisis management, and how to detect signs of struggle and connect individuals to formal supports when needed.

What Does Mental Health at the Y Look Like?

Staff Education

Our Mental Health Manager and Mental Health Educator work with Leadership and Supervisory staff to ensure that they are educated on what mental health looks like at the Y, how they can best support the mental health of those around them and what are the warning signs that someone may need help. We also work with other departments such as school-age care, childcare, summer day camp and gymnastics for more specialized trainings.

Youth Mental Health

We are dedicated towards supporting the mental health of the youth we serve. This fall we began supporting the social, emotional, and mental health of our school-age students through implementation of curriculum in our after-school care programs. We also utilize social-emotional learning curriculum in our 4 K classrooms. Our summer day camp staff are provided training on mental health, adverse childhood experiences and resiliency. We are looking forward to incorporating more mental health, mindfulness, and resilience building activities into our youth programs.

Connecting With Others

An important part of what “mental health looks like at the Y” is our daily interactions with each other. We encourage our staff when talking with each other, and our members to connect in meaningful ways. One of the simplest ways we do this is by asking, “How are you?” in a genuine way and providing a genuine response. This opens space for us to talk about what may be going really well in our lives or what we might be struggling with and allows for us to provide support or ask for help.

Community Partnerships

The Y is dedicated to improving the mental health of not only our staff and members, but also of our community. We are happy to work with other community non-profits and for-profits on bettering the mental health of our community, getting individuals connected to resources and providing education and programing. If you’re a community partner looking to connect, please reach out to Katie Premke, Mental Health Manager at  [email protected]

Teen Programming

Introducing our new pre-teen program, SHE. Formally known as “It’s a Girl Thing”. This program works to support the mental, emotional, social, and physical health of teens through education, skill-building, and discussion. This program runs from October-April on a bi-weekly basis and is cost free for any member or non-member of the Y. We will be expanding our program to reach both Washington and Ozaukee counties. If you have any questions related to our programs, please contact Katie Premke, Mental Health Manager at [email protected]