Healthy Wauwatosa

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Thanks for stopping by to learn more about Healthy Wauwatosa.  Led by community partners, residents and city government, this community-wide effort wants to make Wauwatosa a healthier place to live, work, learn and play.  
Fitness is Fun Hands at Tosa Night Out


Our 4 health priority areas:

  • Substance Use
  • Mental Health Across the Lifespan
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity (Healthy Community)
  • Personal Safety & Injury Prevention

If you would like more information on our activities, please check out the 2018-2022 Wauwatosa Community Health Improvement Plan.

What can I do?

Substance Use

  • Support Tosa United and the School District in their efforts to educate youth and parents about the dangers of substance use.
  • Educate policy makers on the health concerns and social dangers related to substance use.
  • Seek help if you or your loved ones struggle with substance use.
  • Show power with your dollars by supporting local businesses that pass compliance checks by not selling liquor and tobacco products to minors.

Mental Health

  • Be aware of community organizations and resources addressing mental health issues. Share resources with your family, friends and neighbors.
  • Access screening or early intervention for mental health disorders.
  • Prevent bullying behaviors through education and conflict resolution training.
  • Become trained to recognize the signs of someone in mental health crisis with Youth Mental Health First Aid; Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR); or Signs of Suicide (SOS) training.
  • If you have children, plan family meals and technology-free family time.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

  • Increase fruit and vegetable servings to over five per day.
  • Use local resources that increase opportunities to be active.
  • Decrease screen time (time spent using a device such as a computer, television, or games console).
  • Encourage friends and family members to do the same.
  • Participate on wellness committees to improve healthy eating and activity at your school or workplace.

Personal Safety & Injury Prevention

  • Enroll and participate in the Wauwatosa Fire Department (WFD)/Wauwatosa Health Department (WHD) Remembering When Fall Prevention Program.
  • Participate on school committees to review and update safety policies.
  • Volunteer to lead a Safe Walk Route to your school.
  • Sign up for a CPR class through WFD.
  • Make a personal and/or family pledge to prevent distracted driving.
  • Sign up for the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR).

Substance Use

What Healthy Wauwatosa will do

  • Increase awareness and education on opiates and prescription drugs.
    • By December 31, 2022, create a Wauwatosa Opioid and Prescription Drug Information and Resource Guide.
      • Develop a toolkit with education and prevention on opioids and other prescription drugs.
      • Create a resource guide with substance use treatment centers, mental health providers and other relevant resources in Wauwatosa. Disseminate hard copy and electronic versions through a variety of methods and partners.
    • By December 31, 2022, develop a Hidden in Plain Sight initiative in Wauwatosa.
      • Construct mobile and stationary teen bedroom exhibits that contain warning signs of substance use.
      • Each year, host a community event to educate parents and children on early intervention and prevention of substance use.
  • By December 31, 2022, promote methods for proper disposal of prescription medication.
    • Host medication collection events twice per year in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) National Drug Take Back Days.
    • Create a list of medication and sharps disposal sites throughout Wauwatosa.
    • Provide education around safe medication storage in the home and proper disposal methods.
  • Implement risk reduction strategies for alcohol and marijuana use among Wauwatosa residents.
    • By December 31, 2022, promote safe using behaviors and reduce risk of mortality.
      • Reduce rates of impaired driving by 10%.
      • Reduce the percentage of Wauwatosa students who think people are at no risk of harm if they smoke marijuana from 29% to 24%.
  • By December 31, 2022, promote community safety by increasing awareness around substance use and violence.

Why is this a health priority in Wauwatosa?

Substance use disorder is the use of one or more substances causing health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.

Wauwatosa Community Health Survey (2015):

  • 40% of respondents identified themselves as binge drinkers, up from 28% in 2012.
  • 12% of respondents stated they currently smoke tobacco cigarettes, up from 11% in 2012.

Wauwatosa Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2017):

  • 19% of youth have tried smoking, up from 18% in 2015.
  • 54% of youth had at least one drink in their lifetime, down from 57% in 2015.
  • 36% of youth had used marijuana once in their lifetime, up from 30% in 2015.
  • 11% of youth had taken a prescription drug without a doctor's prescription, the same as 2015.
  • 37% of youth agreed or strongly agreed that illegal drugs are a problem at school, down from 43% in 2015.

Mental Health Across the Lifespan

What Healthy Wauwatosa will do

  • Establish a community of mental health resiliency.
    • By December 31, 2022, decrease the number of Wauwatosa residents that report feeling sad, blue or depressed by 15%.
      • Reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by offering Adverse Childhood Events and Trauma-Informed Care education at various community locations.
    • By December 31, 2022, reduce the number of Wauwatosa residents that seriously considered suicide in the last year by 10%.
      • Increase the outreach of the Youth Mental Health First Aid program by expanding the marketing of the program throughout the Wauwatosa community.
      • Develop a Wauwatosa-specific mental health resources document to distribute throughout the community to assist those in mental health crisis. Disseminate hard copy and electronic versions through a variety of methods and partners.
  • Develop a culture of healthy relationships in Wauwatosa.
    • By December 31, 2022, increase the number of Wauwatosa high school students that feel they belong at their school to 70%.
      • Establish a youth peer to peer support program (i.e. Hope Squad) in Wauwatosa high schools and middle schools.
    • By December 31, 2022, implement an annual Mental Health Awareness speaker series each May beginning in 2019.
      • Recruit local individuals and organizations to speak on a variety of mental health topics throughout Mental Health Awareness Month each year.
    • By December 31, 2022, implement the Senior Liaison program with the Wauwatosa Neighborhood Association.
      • Senior liaisons would provide mental health or other community resources to at-risk seniors they encounter.

Why is this a health priority in Wauwatosa?

A person struggling with mental health may experience stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, addiction, learning disabilities, mood disorders, or mental health illness of varying degrees.

Wauwatosa Community Health Survey (2015):

  • 4% of respondents reported they always or nearly always felt sad, blue or depressed in the past 30 days, up from 2% in 2012.
  • 4% of respondents felt so overwhelmed they considered suicide in the past year, up from <1% in 2012.
  • 3% of respondents reported they seldom or never find meaning or purpose in daily life, the same as 2012.

Wauwatosa Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2017):

  • 28% of youth felt sad or hopeless every day for at least two weeks or more in a row which stopped usual activities, up from 25% in 2015.
  • 13% of youth seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months, up from 11% in 2015.
  • 64.9% of youth strong agreed or agreed that they belong at their school, down from 66% in 2015.

Healthy Community

What Healthy Wauwatosa will do

  • Create a culture of healthful eating and increased nutrition.
    • By December 31, 2022, increase the number of residents who report eating 2+ servings of fruits per day by 5% and 3+ servings of vegetables per day by 10%.
      • Implement a Harvest of the Month program at grocery stores, schools, Tosa Farmer's Market, and other locations across the City.
      • Increase utilization of the Power of Produce Program with Tosa Farmer's Market by coordinating a formal introduction to the program at five-year-old kindergarten graduations at WSD and private schools.
      • Increase residents' awareness and utilization of Tosa Cares and Tosa Food Pantry through targeted educational campaigns. Implement a "Give Healthy" campaign citywide for donations.
      • Promote the benefits of family mealtimes in the Wauwatosa general, medical, educational, and daycare communities.
      • Engage local restaurants to host a family meal night. The family meal nights will include information on how to start and have family conversations. City dignitaries and leaders may be invited to attend and participate.
    • By December 31, 2022, increase the number of new mothers that report breastfeeding/chest feeding upon discharge from the hospital by 5%.
      • Implement the WIC evidence-based educational program, Coffective.  (LINK?)
      • Create a private nursing/pumping room in at least two locations across Wauwatosa for use during public events.
  • Create a culture of increased physical activity and movement.
    • By December 31, 2022, increase the number of residents, including seniors and those who are disabled, who report engaging in the recommended moderate or vigorous physical activity by 10%.
      • Inventory current recreational programming activities throughout Wauwatosa.
      • Create an online repository of programming and fitness opportunities throughout Wauwatosa.
      • Implement an annual citywide Mayor's Fitness Challenge for adults and families in Wauwatosa. The challenge will focus specifically on two additional populations: adaptive and middle/high school students.
      • In partnership with Wellness in Tosa Schools (WITS), create an improved physical education policy for high school students.
      • Inventory current workplace wellness programs across Wauwatosa.
      • Distribute a toolkit for employers on implementing a wellness program.
      • Investigate the WELCOA Well City designation for Wauwatosa.
      • Promote intergenerational programs.
      • Increase walkability in Wauwatosa by installing directional landmark signs with walking distances.

Why is this a health priority in Wauwatosa?

Consuming fruits and vegetables and regular exercise lowers the risk of developing many chronic diseases and can also help with weight management.

Wauwatosa Community Health Survey (2015):

  • 71% of respondents reported eating 2+ servings of fruits per day, down from 77% in 2012.
  • 37% of respondents reported eating 3+ servings of vegetables per day, up from 36% in 2012.
  • 47% of respondents reported engaging in the recommended amount of physical activity per week, down from 57% in 2012.

Wauwatosa Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2017):

  • 64% of youth ate vegetables at least 3 times in the past 7 days.
  • 72% of youth ate fruits at least 3 times in the past 7 days.
  • 60% of youth respondents reported physical activity at least 60 minutes per day for at least 5 days, up from 57% in 2015.
  • 39% of youth reported trying to lose weight, up from 43% in 2015. (LOOK)

Personal Safety & Injury Prevention

What Healthy Wauwatosa will do

  • Reduce preventable injury hazards at home to allow all Wauwatosans to safely age in place.
    • By December 31, 2022, decrease inpatient hospital and emergency room visits related to falls by 10%.
      • Train Senior Liaisons in fall prevention strategies and programs available in the community for the seniors they encounter.
      • Increase the numbers and locations of community offerings for evidence-based fall prevention education classes (Stepping on, Remembering When, etc.).
      • Increase marketing of WHD child home safety program to day cares, churches and WIC participants.
    • By December 31, 2022, decrease the number of children with elevated lead levels by 10%.
      • Wauwatosa departments of Public Works, Water, and Health will work together to create a lead hazard awareness campaign for Wauwatosa residents.
      • Encourage and educate local pediatricians on the importance of lead testing for all children and proper follow-up for those that have elevated lead levels. Create a culture of increased physical activity and movement.
  • Create a culture of road safety.
    • By December 31, 2022, decrease the number of inattentive driving citations given by the Wauwatosa Police Department by 20%.
      • Increase awareness of the Graduated Driver's License law for parents of teens by utilizing the tools provided by the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Crossroads Teen Driving Program.
      • Implement an inattentive driving program at both Wauwatosa high schools.
      • Promote free or low cost senior driving safety courses available online or in person to assist seniors with ongoing infrastructure changes.
      • Increase the number of Wauwatosa residents signed up to receive e-mail or text alerts for local road construction updates.
  • Wauwatosa as a model community for emergency response.
    • By December 31, 2022, increase the number of Wauwatosans available to assist in a medical and public health emergency.
      • Increase the number of AEDs available in public establishments by 15%.
      • Increase the number of residents trained in hands-only CPR by 10%.
      • Increase the number of residents actively utilizing the Pulse Point app on their smartphone by 10%.
      • Implement training of the Stop the Bleed program to Wauwatosa residents.
      • Increase the number of Wauwatosa residents registered on the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR) by 10%.

Why is this a health priority in Wauwatosa?

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44 and a leading cause of disability for all ages.

Wauwatosa Community Health Survey (2015):

  • 24% of respondents drove with technology distractions 1+ times per day.
  • 13% of respondents reported being afraid for their safety, up from 2% in 2012.

Wauwatosa Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2017):

  • 96% of youth reported always or nearly always wearing a seat belt while riding in a car, up from 94% in 2015.
  • 21% of youth reported texting or emailing while driving a car once or more than once in the last 30 days, up from 18% in 2015.

Wauwatosa Community Themes and Strengths Assessment (2016):

  • Youth Commission: Members reported that texting while driving was one of the most important health concerns facing young people.
  • Online Community Health Survey: Respondents reported that texting while driving was among the top risky health behaviors.
  • Senior Commission: Members reported affordable, safe and accessible transportation as a major health concern.