Mental health and well-being
There are many ways to understand mental health based on our experiences, education, families, and cultures. It’s not just about illness. We all have a state of mental health all of the time. A public health approach to children’s mental health helps us to improve the mental health of all children and families, not just those with diagnoses.
University of Minnesota Extension Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) bridges research and practice to promote mental well-being and health in children, youth, and families.
How we work
CYFC grapples with complex, developmental challenges that influence families and communities. Here's how we do it:
- Take interdisciplinary and ecological approaches.
- Build relationships with community and University partners to co-create educational events, multimedia resources, and interactive learning tools.
- Cultivate culturally responsive partnerships that address pressing issues.
- Support networks of individuals and agencies committed to enhancing the well-being of children, youth, and families.
Who we are
CYFC staff work in consultation and collaboration with community and University partners.
- CYFC Advisory Board — See who’s on the board and read their bios.
- CYFC Staff — Contact staff by using our form.
- CYFC Update — Read our bi-monthly newsletter to learn about CYFC's current activities.
- CYFC Scholar in Residence — Learn about the program, and the current scholar, projects, and research.
We all have a part to play in promoting the mental well-being and health of children, youth, and families.
- Stay up to date. Subscribe to our publications: Subscriptions.
- Contact a staff member. Use the Children, Youth & Family Consortium contact form.
- Donate. Make a contribution to the Children, Youth & Family Consortium Fund.
University of Minnesota established the Children, Youth & Family Consortium in 1992. It serves as a catalyst for creating authentic partnerships among community practitioners and University faculty and staff. CYFC is intentionally interdisciplinary. Its primary purpose is to create discussions and engage communities in identifying and finding solutions to issues facing children and families.
University President Nils Hasselmo charged CYFC founders with ensuring that the knowledge and resources of the University not remain on library shelves. We should actively benefit Minnesota's children, youth, and families. For more than twenty-five years, and with the support across the University, CYFC has promoted the full use of research and education.
CYFC works through partnerships with communities and organizations. Together, we raise the profile of salient issues that children, youth, and families face. During this time, a sense of urgency has grown around several focal points:
Children’s mental health
Trauma and stress
Health and education disparities
Healthy school environments
CYFC joined University of Minnesota Extension as part of the Extension Center for Family Development in July 2010. It continues to build bridges between campus units, faculty, community practitioners, and policy professionals. We work closely with our Extension partners in Minnesota and nationally to carry out our mission.
Lessons from the Field is an educational series sponsored by Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC). This series aims to:
Build understanding about the pressing challenges children and families face, and how to address them.
Show how research informs practice and how practice informs research related to the chosen topic.
Provide a forum for professionals, researchers, clinicians, community leaders, and caregivers to gather and learn together .
CYFC partners with one or more agencies to provide context to the series, and to act as host sites.
Save the date — Monday, October 29th, 2018. Check back for more information about the fall event on early childhood mental health. Learn more about our Scholar in Residence, Katie Lingas.
CYFC hosted seven regional events on this topic in winter and spring 2017. Learn more about this past event: Meeting the needs of transgender youth.
Children's mental health as a public health issue — The video and discussion questions on this page will help you start conversations, and the issue brief and resource lists will help inform them.
Children's mental health case studies — These online, interactive tools encourage practitioners, instructors, graduate students, and community partners to collaborate together and explore how to respond effectively to children’s mental health needs.
Children's mental health ereviews — Our unique online publication reviews research and how it’s used in practice to promote children’s mental health.
Historical trauma and cultural healing — Find resources on the importance of considering historical trauma and cultural healing when working with families and communities.
Cultural providers network (CPN) — A unique coalition of providers for children and families of color, institutions of higher learning, and Minnesota policy professionals, CPN welcomes new attendees. CPN meets monthly with a goal of improving services for children by sharing best practices, networking with other professionals, and building bridges between science and practice.
There are many factors in play that help to account for both individual academic achievement as well as the academic achievement (or disparity in this achievement) for different student populations. Learn more about some of these factors in the resources below.
Children’s mental health ereview
Falling Behind: Understanding the Educational Disparities Faced by Immigrant Latino Students in the U.S. — Read this free issue of the eReview, an online publication that integrates research and practice expertise to improve services and promote children’s mental health.
Circles Of influence underlying educational disparities — Check out the multiple layers of influence underlying educational disparities.
Healing Racism- The Time To Act Is Now — Explore ways that racism negatively impact educational achievement.
The Interaction of Education and Health Disparities: The Mental Health Perspective — Consider the interplay between mental health and educational disparities.