​Mental Health

Good mental health is as important as good physical health. Mental illness can impair people's ability to work, to raise their families, and to participate in civic life. Our work is focused on identifying factors that affect mental health, especially in low-income and immigrant populations; looking at mental health systems; and evaluating programs working to assist individuals with mental health issues.
We offer a range of research services, including program evaluation, evaluation capacity building, survey development, audience research, and a variety of applied research methods tailored to individual study goals.

Access to Mental Health Services

Thousands of Minnesotans are affected by mental illness each year and are unsure how and where to get help. Some are reluctant to seek treatment because they have concerns about costs, or don’t think they need professional help, or they worry about the associated stigma. Others don’t understand what services are available or how to navigate the complex system of options. Often, those in crisis end up in hospital emergency rooms, which may not be the most appropriate or cost-effective option.
Related Wilder Research reports:

Children’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health
Good social-emotional and mental health is key to a child’s overall healthy development. Research shows children with mental health disorders are likely to have less success in school, fewer social relationships, and greater involvement in the criminal justice system than others. It is important to prevent, identify, and treat children’s mental health issues early, and to ensure all families have access to screening and high-quality mental health and support services. These services should be appropriate based on the child’s need, developmental level, and cultural background.

Related Wilder Foundation programming:
Children and Family Mental Health
Incredible Years

Cultural Communities and Immigrants

Understanding and addressing the needs of people with emotional or behavioral concerns is critical. Effective and timely intervention produces good results for many. But unfortunately, there are many barriers for immigrants and cultural communities for identifying and treating mental health disorders. These include limited access to service, under-identification of symptoms, stigma, belief systems, negative perceptions of treatment and gaps in culturally appropriate services.

Trauma-informed Care

In mental health and other areas, there has been a growing awareness of both the prevalence of trauma and of the significant impact of traumatic experiences on our health and well-being.  New treatment models have emerged, designed to provide comfortable, accessible, and effective services for children, adults, and families who have experienced trauma. There is also a growing movement to apply principles of trauma-informed care more broadly, to create more effective and responsive service organizations and systems of care.
Related Wilder Research reports:
Related Wilder Foundation programming:

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 Wilder Programs

​See how Wilder programs address mental health issues. View