MJRF Mental Health Champions

Melissa Schmidt

Clinical Therapist

Andy Nalepa

School Psychologist
Skyline High School

Will Heininger

Outreach Coordinator
University of Michigan Depression Center

The MJRF Mental Health Champions program is a pilot program which began in the Fall of 2022 at Skyline High School.  The program is intended to be transformative in approach for engaging youth athletes through trusted adults, specifically Coaches, Trainers and other professionals within the Athletic Department.  
The MJRF Mental Health Champions are funded positions which lead impactful programming aimed at supporting Skyline High School student-athletes’ social and emotional mental health.  Programs are developed with support from the Miles Jeffrey Roberts Foundation and leading health care professionals within Skyline High School/Ann Arbor Public Schools, UM Depression Center, Washtenaw County Community Mental Health (WCCMH), Washtenaw Intermediate School District, and any additional community resources that are interested in engaging with MJRF on this initiative.  Programs are implemented through various platforms in partnership with student-athletes, coaches, school administration and families. 
The Skyline pilot is a 3 year program with a goal to demonstrate evidence based outcomes and to be sustainable by Skyline/AAPS at year 4 as part of the school curriculum.  Year 3 at Skyline will involve a pilot(s) at another Washtenaw County school where the MJRF Champions at Skyline will work with this 2nd school (TBD) to mentor and support them through their first year of Pilot Year 1 based on the MJRF Playbook.  During pilot year 2 at this Washtenaw County School (TBD), the MJRF Champion program will be run independently with the MJRF Champion resources in place.  By year 3 at school #2, the goal is for the MJRF programming to be ingrained as part of the athletic programming culture with minimal support needed by MJRF for embedded resources.
Our long-term goal is to partner with other funding agencies and high schools to place MJRF Mental Health Champions within local high schools in Washtenaw County.