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Connect Washoe County (CWC) shows success before end of first year of three-year strategy (sponsored)

By ThisIsReno

Since the creation of Connect Washoe County (CWC), the collaboration has made great strides on its goal for year one to strengthen community linkages, by creating an accessible directory for families in Washoe County that is hosted by The Washoe County Children’s Mental Health Consortium (WCCMHC). CWC was created back in August of 2021 with a focus on youth mental health and suicide prevention to better support youth and families through community collaboration.

A recent report released by Suicide Awareness Voices of Education that ranks states on the prevalence of suicide death shows Nevada improved from 7th to 12th. According to Nevada’s Office of Suicide Prevention, while the country has seen an increase in suicides over the past few years, Nevada has consistently held steady or decreased its numbers. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for people aged 8 to 17 and 18 to 24 years old.

“Youth suicide is preventable when the caring adults around youth are connected, engaged, and listening to the voices of young people,” said Jacquelyn Kleinedler, Director of Behavioral Health Programs for The Children’s Cabinet. “The latest data is a promising indicator for us to keep up our efforts. Protecting our youth requires us to continue comprehensive and collaborative teamwork across all partners in Washoe County.”

Now, families can access the Resource Directory to efficiently find youth behavioral health and wellness resources in Washoe County. CWC leadership believes having all the resources in one place makes it easier for families to access the care they need. Many providers in Washoe County are invested in working with children, families, and suicide prevention and the Resource Directory is an opportunity to share this investment and strengthen the community network. Hence, CWC and WCCMHC encourage these providers to create a listing and become part of the network of support for families. To do so, access the Provider Support page and walk through the steps on how to create a listing and free account for your organization.

Connect Washoe County is working closely with the Washoe County Children’s Mental Health Consortium in its efforts to address youth mental health needs. The Consortium hosts a monthly public meeting with agendas that include action items, community presentations, and data presentations.

On December 7, 2021, the United States Surgeon General issued an Advisory on the Youth Mental Health Crisis across the country due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Advisory characterizes the impact of the pandemic and other factors on youth mental health in our country as “devastating” and issued recommendations that mirrored the ongoing goals of both the WCCMHC and CWC. Those goals include recognizing mental health is an essential part of overall health and ensuring that every child has access to mental health care.

Connect Washoe County remains committed to taking action on the following goals:

  • Year One: Create and strengthen linkages in the community. For those interested in joining this collaboration, please visit the Provider Support page.
  • Year Two: Identify strategies to fill service and support gaps.
  • Year Three: Assure sustainability and economic viability.

For more information about WCCMHC and CWC and their efforts to address the needs of youth and families in our community, access the 2021 Annual Report here.

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