Youth Health (for youth)

Extension is working with state, regional, and local partners to ensure youth have the tools they need for their health and well-being. Our programs:

  • Help youth build skills to improve emotion regulation and cope with stress
  • Teach adults how to identify and support youth experiencing a mental health challenge or is in crisis
  • Empower youth to address mental health and well-being in their communities
  • Build community capacity to work together in addressing community health

Extension Programs

For Adults | For Youth

Youth Advocates for Community Health

Youth Advocates for Community Health is a process to engage youth in taking action in their communities to promote health. Youth Advocates for Community Health focuses on creating changes in systems and structures and is based on health equity principles.

With support from the Well Connected Communities initiative (funded by National 4-H Council and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Extension created videos to engage youth in learning more about core concepts of community health.

Watch the videos:

Activity guides for each video are coming soon!

Learning to Breathe

Learning to Breathe is a research-based mindfulness curriculum for youth audiences. The goal of the program is to improve emotion regulation, attention, and coping skills.

Learning to Breathe teaches mindfulness to young learners from 10 years old up to young adults. Learning to Breathe can be taught in a classroom setting, youth group setting or virtually in 6, 12, or 18 sessions.

Contact Jen Park-Mroch or your local Extension Office for more information.

Raise Your Voice

Extension is partnering with National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) WI to create safe spaces of belonging and connection for youth. NAMI’s Raise Your Voice clubs empower youth to address mental health concerns and reduce stigma.

Contact Debbie Moellendorf for more information.

teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA)

teen Mental Health First Aid teaches teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18, how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance us challenges among their friends and peers.

Learn more about teen Mental Health First Aid.

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST)

A comprehensive substance abuse prevention program that focuses on targeting the social and psychological factors that initiate risky behaviors rather than simply educating participants on the dangers of drug and alcohol use. By building self- confidence and strengthening the skills needed to successfully handle challenging situations, LST has been proven time and again to significantly reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug use and violence. 

Developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, this evidence-based program:

  • Teaches students the necessary skills to resist peer pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs.
  • Helps to develop a healthy self concept and confidence.
  • Gives students the skills needed to effectively cope with anxiety.
  • Increases knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance abuse.
  • Enhances cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors.

Contact Jen Park-Mroch or your local Extension Office for more information.

Nutrition education

Extension’s FoodWIse program advances healthy eating habits, active lifestyles and healthy community environments for families with limited incomes. FoodWIse educators introduce children and youth to new fruits and vegetables, why they are important, and teach basic cooking skills. FoodWIse also supports communities in making the healthy choice the easy choice were people live, learn, work, play and worship.

Contact a local FoodWIse team member to learn more.

Extension Resources

Supporting You(th)

A series of fact sheets for parents, caregivers and other adults who live or work with young people. Each fact sheet is research-based, easy to read, and provides practical strategies to support youth mental health. They are available in English, Spanish, and Hmong.

E-Cigarettes and Vaping Educational Tools & Resources

Feel better informed and equipped to help young people understand the dangers of e-cigarettes and overcome the temptation and effects of vaping.

Current Crises’ Impacts on Youth Mental Health

Youth mental health has been a growing concern in Wisconsin and beyond for some time. The pandemic and resulting changes to people’s lives are a new factor in youth mental health. This eleven page research document examines youth mental health and makes recommendations for how to address youth mental health resulting from COVID and racial injustice.

Support Extension