In The News

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Follow along as the Office of Children's Mental Health provides data and expert perspective on child well-being and system change!​

See our OCMH monthly newsletters ​for children’s mental h​​ealth in Wisconsin information.

Rise in Suicides among Black Youths Fuels Concern among Milwaukee Psychologists, Counselors​ (10/22/21)

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service cites the OCMH September 2021 Fact Sheet: In Wisconsin, about one in 10 Black youths have reported attempting suicide. From 2016 to 2019, national suicide rates among Black males ages 15 to 24 increased by 47%. In Black females, the increase was 59%. 

Read the article here:

WPR's “The West Side" Explores at Student Depression, Anxiety, Self-harm, and Suicidal Ideation (10/1/21)​

OCMH Director Linda Hall spoke to “The West Side" host Clara Neupert about social challenges kids and teens are facing. She said: Almost 60% of Wisconsin students in grades 9 through 12 reported depression, anxiety, self-harm or suicidal ideation in 2019. 

Listen to the discussion:

Wisconsin Children’s Mental Health Fact Sheet Focuses on Improving Lives of LGBTQ Youth (6/8/21)​

The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health has published a new fact sheet highlighting the increased mental health challenges LGBTQ youth face and how the community can help improve the quality of life for LGBTQ youth. 

Read the article here:​​​​​

Children's Mental Health 2021-23 Budget Recommendations by OCMH ​(5/24/21)

The Office of Children’s Mental Health’s (OCMH) Director Linda Hall made budget recommendations to the Joint Finance Committee. If adopted, these recommendations would increase children’s access to critical mental health services and further children’s well-being. 

Read the recommendations here:​​ ​​

Voices of Wisconsin Students Project – Wisconsin Students Feel Disconnected, Want More Mental Health Services (5/10/21)

Feedback from 160 middle and high school students about their learning environments and their mental health during the pandemic is reported in the Voices of Wisconsin Students Project report.

Read the full article here:

Teens Talk about How They Maintain Their Mental Health (5/7/21)

Youth panel discussion was part of a virtual event hosted by the state Office of Children's Mental Health as part of its Mental Health Awareness Week (May 2 – 8, 2021).

Read the full article here:

Number Of ER, Doctor Visits For Distressed Teens In Wisconsin Is High Compared To Other States (4/16/21)

Child advocates point to signs of distress to youth brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. One fact cited in this WPR article is Wisconsin is one of the top 5 states for having the most insurance claims submitted for intentional self-harm injuries during the pandemic.

Read the full article here:

​Governor Evers Recognizes OCMH April Fact Sheet on Responding to COVID Changes at School (4/13/21)

While some students may be ready to head back to school others are feeling anxious and disconnected from teachers and peers. Students will need extra support to ensure positive emotional well-being and successful school outcomes. This is amid a time when Wisconsin is one of the top five states for having the most insurance claims submitted for intentional self-harm injuries during the pandemic.

Listen to Governor Evers' comments or read the entire Responding to COVID Changes at School Fact Sheet​. 


DOJ and Office of Children's Mental Health Partner to Help Youth When in Crisis (4/7/21)

Mental Health Crisis Card helps youth when in crisis. The Office of Children’s Mental Health and the Department of Justice Office of School Safety announce a tool to help calm youth when experiencing an agitated state or mental health crisis.​

Read the full press release:​ 

OCMH presents data and recommendations to improve children’s mental health (3/24/21)

Director Hall was invited to testify before the Assembly Mental Health Committee.  Hall presented data on the status of children’s mental health and well-being in Wisconsin.  Also, at the Committee’s request, she made recommendations on how to improve children’s well-being and the children’s mental health system. 

Read her testimonydata presentation, and 1​0 recommendations.​

Wisconsin Strives to End Childhood Poverty in Quest to Boost Kids’ Well-being​ (3/9/21)

“Growing up in poverty is detrimental to a child’s overall well-being, affecting virtually every area of their life,” Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall told News – La Crosse in an interview following the release of the office’s March 2021 Fact Sheet – Supporting Child Well-being through Eliminating Childhood Poverty. 

Read the full article:​​

Demand for Mental Health Care Rising as Provider Shortage Persists (2/10/21)

WBAY First Alert News quoted the Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH) in a report they did on February 10, 2021 on the shortage of licensed professionals available to address the increased need for mental health services since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  OCMH states mental health shortages can lead to negative impacts like increases in suicide, substance abuse, and child abuse. ​

Read the full article:​ 

WPR Interview Examines Youth Mental Health​ (1/21/21)

Linda Hall, Director of the Office of Children’s Mental Health, spoke with Kate Archer Kent of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Morning Show on the importance of social connections and how the state hopes to encourage building them.  They also discuss updates on other ways the state is pushing to improve youth mental health amid the pandemic.​

Listen to the full interview:​ 

​​​OCMH 2020 Annual Report Launch in the News (1/7/21)

Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall spoke to WQOW News 18 in Eau Claire about its 2020 Annual Report.  The interview highlights that 26% of Wisconsin’s students experienced difficulty with social skills and 15% of adolescents experienced a major depressive episode last year.  Other report findings are also discussed.

Watch the video:​gling-socially-emotionally-report-says/#.X_gCUi6XEu8.mailto 

OCMH Fact Sheets Reach Residents Across Wisconsin​

​Our monthly Fact Sheets are reaching a wide variety of audiences across Wisconsin thanks to local news outlets, community coalitions, professional membership organizations, school districts, and even business news outlets. Some examples of articles that were publicly circulated in 2020 include:

Youth Justice:


Review our other Fact Sheets​ and share them on social media and in your own community. 

First Lady Kathy Evers Introduces Feelings Thermometer (8/5/20)

A mental wellness tool aimed to help families regain calmness when their feelings may be escalating towards anger was introduced by Wisconsin's First Lady Kathy Evers.  The thermometer was produced by the Wisconsin Office of Children's Mental Health (OCMH) as a mental wellness tool amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Feelings Thermometer visually shows the range of feelings starting at the blue zone where people are calm and moving up to the red zone where people are angry.  It shows what people can do in each zone to regulate their emotions and move towards the calm zone. 

The Feelings Thermometer is available on the OCMH website.  Also on the website are suggested ways the Thermometer can be used by families, caregivers, teachers, school social workers, and children.   

​Read the full article:​ 


Mental Health Awareness Day 2020 Highlights the Importance of Children's Mental Health (5/6/20)

National Children's Mental Health Awareness day was celebrated on May 7, 2020 and reinforced the message that positive mental health is essential to a child's health development.  The Office of Children's Mental Health shared facts and information on what parents, educational and mental health professionals, and policymakers can do to help.​​

Read the full article:​

Children's Mental Health Topic of WPR Interview (3/11/20)

Linda Hall, Director of the Office of Children’s Mental Health, discussed t​he importance of resiliency and life skills in Wisconsin’s children during a March interview on Wisconsin Public Radio.  The discussion also touched on efforts to address provider shortages, school-based care, and hospitalizations. ​The interview aired on March 11, 2020.  

Listen to the WPR interview:

​2019 Annual Report (2/4/20)

OCMH presented its 2019 annual report on the status of children’s mental health on February 4th to a packed room at the State Capitol.  Guests included First Lady Mrs. Evers, Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm, and OCMH Lived Experience Leader Andrea Humphrey.   Linda Hall, OCHM Director, presented OCMH 2020 priorities, and Melissa Murphy, OCHM Research Analyst, presented highlights from the 2019 report.  OCMH also released its first 2020 fact sheet – Healthy Use of Screen Time.  View the full 2019 annual report, Child Well-Being Indicators Dashboard, Snapshot report, and fact sheet at
Read the WPR article on the February 4th event:

Children's Mental Hea​lth Topic of WPR Interview (8/26/19)

Wisconsin Public Radio’s (WPR) “The Morning Show” invited Linda Hall to discuss her new role as Director of the Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH).  She described how Wisconsin’s children are struggling with mental health challenges and OCMH’s vision that all children grow up feeling healthy, happy, and hopeful for the future.  The interview aired on August 26, 2019.  

As an introduction to the segment WPR host, John Munson, noted that the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction recently awarded more than $6 M in grants to support mental health in schools.  During the interview he asked listeners what gaps in children’s mental health they see in their community.  Three callers (a parent, teacher, and grandmother) described their connection to children needing mental health treatment and the need for more resources to be allocated to children’s mental health.  They also urged WPR to continue coverage of this issue.

Lived Experience Voice Highlighted at 2019 Children's Mental Health Day (5/6/19)

​​​Governor Tony Evers declared May 6, 2019 as Children's Mental Health Awareness Day in Wisconsin and called on Abbi Hicks, OCMH Young Adult Lived Experience Partner, to share her story of mental health challenges including anxiety, self-harm, and borderline personality disorder.

Read the full article:​