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6 Things to Know About Veterans’ Behavioral Health Needs in Minnesota
Nora Johnson​Last year, in response to reported gaps in the Veteran mental and behavioral health system, the Minnesota Legislature commissioned a needs assessment of Veterans in Minnesota. Wilder Research worked with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) to conduct such an assessment. We looked at existing data, interviewed providers, and surveyed nearly 1,000 Minnesota Veterans to identify mental and behavioral health needs, the resources available to them, and the opportunities to address any unmet needs of this population. Here are six takeaways from that assessment: Many Veterans are accessing the supports they need. Overall, 77 percent of Minnesota Veteran survey respondents reported feeling they have the support they need, including those who have received services in the last two years (24%) and those that have not (53%)....
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5 Facts That Can Help You Save a Life: What You Need to Know About Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Laura Schauben​People typically think commercial sexual exploitation happens to women brought in from other countries who are locked away in basements being victimized by men they don’t know. In reality, this scenario is one of many. Similarly, while most people are sure commercial sexual exploitation isn’t happening in their community, it likely is. Commercial sexual exploitation occurs where you are…in whatever town, city, or corner of the world you are reading this. By understanding the many ways commercial sexual exploitation happens and by being aware of signs it may be happening near you, you can help save a life. The following information was primarily derived from Wilder Research’s first biennial evaluation of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor law and No Wrong Door model, an initiative designed to improve...
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Providing Emotional Support to Children After a Disaster
Children play with a parachute at Camp Noah.Recent hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, and Maria have presented stark images of the terrible damage that can come from natural disasters. These disasters are often followed by a national outpouring of much-needed resources and support, to help those impacted meet their immediate needs for food, drinking water, safe shelter, and other necessities. While these resources are clearly essential, another aspect of disaster recovery also warrants attention – the emotional well-being of the individuals, families, and communities. Experiencing a disaster first-hand can be extremely traumatic. Stress and anxiety can also result from hearing about losses experienced by others, the ongoing challenges of rebuilding homes and communities, and watching media coverage of these events. For some people, feelings of stress or anxiety may be mild and subside quickly, but for...
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Youth Participatory Evaluation: How to Start?
For the Youth Leadership Initiative, evaluation is one of the many ways that they meaningfully engage youth in their program. By practicing Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE), evaluation is no longer just a task on their to-do list, it is a way for youth and adults to collaboratively assess and guide the program.   The Youth Leadership Initiative has practiced YPE for almost five years. They believe in YPE because they’ve witnessed its benefits for youth, adults, and their program. Other researchers have also documented YPE’s benefits for youth (such as improved social competencies and increased self-confidence), for adults (such as increased self-efficacy and increased sense of belonging), and for programs (such as democratization of knowledge and balancing power between adults and youth).1   After years of being asked...
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Hello Fellows: Meet Shawn Schuette
​Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2017, Wilder awarded fellowships to six employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the most recent cohort of Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Shawn Schuette. What is your role at Wilder? I am a Senior Clinical Supervisor in Wilder’s school-based mental health program, and have been with Kofi for 9 years. Kofi is a culturally specific program serving African-American students in St. Paul Public Schools. School based staff work with clients individually, in group,...
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