Our Initiatives

Child Care

Child care providers have a unique opportunity to positively shape the lives of the children and families they serve.  Read more

Community

Your community can join WeTHRIVE!’s movement to make Hamilton County a healthier place to live, work, and play. Read more

School

WeTHRIVE! schools can create environments that support and encourage a healthy and safe place to learn, work, and play. Read more

Faith

Places of worship are the cornerstone of many communities and play an important role in creating a healthy community.  Read more

About Us

About

To create a culture of health, safety, and vitality throughout Hamilton County.

That’s the mission of Hamilton County Public Health’s WeTHRIVE! initiative.

What started with 50 people in three priority communities in 2009 has expanded to impact more than 300,000 people throughout 28 communities. This still-growing movement, which provides a framework to communities for healthy living, is a result of sustainable thinking from the start.

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Our Stories

graphic reads: We thrive partner recognition month 1N5 and Mind Peace.

Partners care for mental health during COVID-19

1N5 and MindPeace are WeTHRIVE! partners whose work focuses on mental health.

  • 1N5 works with schools, teens, and adults to increase awareness and education about mental health. They want to get people talking about mental health as a way to end the stigma around the topic.
  • MindPeace works to increase access to mental healthcare for children and adolescents in Greater Cincinnati. Last school year, more than 110,000 students had access to mental health services through 170 school-based mental health partnerships.

Here’s a look at how 1N5 and MindPeace are responding to the challenges of COVID-19.

1N5

With most of 1N5’s initiatives involving in-person and in-school activities, the COVID-19 pandemic “basically turned everything on its head,” said Nancy Eigel-Miller, 1N5 founder and director.

The organization responded by switching to virtual meetings and training sessions. A new coronavirus section on 1N5.org offers a wide range of activities that promote physical and mental wellness through self-care, movement, mindfulness, education, creativity, and more. There are also video brain breaks, messages from experts, and stories about coping during the pandemic shared by adults and teens. The website now has many resources on racism and mental health.

Nancy says that early in the pandemic it was clear that teachers were worried about their students and needed help dealing with this. “I think a lot of that burden was … how do they keep students engaged? How do they continue to keep them on their path? It’s a big responsibility.”

As schools re-open, 1N5 will help continue to help teachers as they adjust to the new normal. “There’s going to be a lot of unknown going forward and a lot of different issues that we haven’t had to deal with before,” Nancy said.

1N5 is offering a free, virtual program on August 13: Self-Care for Teachers: Using Mindfulness Skills.

State of Mind Speakers Series 

1N5 partnered with MindPeace to create a series of virtual presentations to promote mental health and wellness during these challenging times. There are separate sessions for youth, caregivers, and educators. The free series is accessible now and will go through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

MindPeace

In addition to partnering with 1N5 on the State of Mind Speakers Series, MindPeace is continuing to ensure that children and adolescents can access mental health care.

MindPeace’s COVID-19 page is filled with helpful resources for kids, teens, college students, schools, therapists, and families. You can find a therapist for children, adolescents, and young adults by searching the MindPeace online database.

MindPeace Rooms™:

In schools, MindPeace sets up physical spaces where students can go to decompress and practice social-emotional and resiliency skills. To fill this need during the pandemic, they launched virtual MindPeace Rooms for early childhood, elementary/middle school, and junior high/high school.

You really have to visit a virtual MindPeace Room to appreciate it! Try out this MindPeace Room for early childhood.

For more information:

 

Website, social media traffic on the rise during pandemic:

1N5’s website visits are up 344 percent from last year, with an average of 9000 visits/month since the pandemic started. 1N5’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages have been reaching about 157,000 per month, an increase of 19 percent from last year.

reads we thrive partner recognition month Special Olympics of Hamilton County

Special Olympics keeps athletes active

Special Olympics Hamilton County (SOHC), a WeTHRIVE! partner, offers 25 year-round athletic and recreational programs, serving 1800 athletes with intellectual disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic brought activities to a halt in mid-March.

“Our programs are not considered essential, but we are an essential program to the mental health of our athletes,” said Lindsay Bartsch, SOHC program director. “For some of our athletes, we’re the only leisure and recreation opportunity they have.”

An early priority was encouraging SOHC athletes to take an online course about the pandemic offered by the national Special Olympics office. “It was a simple, easy to understand, very short course on coronavirus – what it is, how does it spread, what can I do, how to wash hands, and how to be safe,” Lindsay said.

All SOHC activities were postponed, making it hard to keep in touch with athletes. “You can only reach so many athletes virtually,” Lindsay said. “But we needed to let them know that during this time, you’re still taking care of yourself, so when we can come back to sports you are strong and you are well.”

Fitness challenge

To keep athletes engaged, Special Olympics Ohio created the year-long Fitness Influencer Challenge. Participants track exercise, nutrition and water intake, earning incentives along the way.adult female holding fitness challenge tracking form that has been completed

If athletes complete 52 weeks of consistent tracking, they’re eligible to apply for the Fitness Influencer position with Special Olympics Ohio. The winner will be featured in fitness videos with Special Olympics Ohio.

Lindsay says 30-40 Hamilton County athletes are participating in the challenge. Each one is paired with a volunteer who checks in with them.

Be a virtual volunteer with Special Olympics! Click here for information.

Moving forward

As of now, Special Olympics sports are still on hold due to the pandemic. But athletes are taking part in socially-distanced walking groups, virtual fitness on Zoom and Facebook, and virtual Pandemic Parties.5 adults walking on paved path, staying 6 feet apart and wearing face coverings

SOHC has teamed up with LADD, another WeTHRIVE! partner, on the virtual Live Well series (see below).

For more information on Special Olympics in Hamilton County, contact:
Lindsay Bartsch at 513-271-2606 or lindsay.bartsch@specialolympics-hc.org


LADD promotes wellness during pandemic

LADD is a non-profit organization that provides services — housing, health and wellness, day programs, employment, and advocacy — to adults with disabilities in Hamilton County.

LADD is partnering with SOHC on the virtual Live Well Series, which focuses on wellness and staying active. Cincinnati Bearcats Volleyball and Beyond Ballet Cincy have each led a session of this weekly series.

For more information on how LADD is helping during the pandemic, check out this recent story on WVXU.

Reads We Thrive Partner Recogniition Month August 2020

Celebrating our partners

Every year, we honor our WeTHRIVE! communities, schools, and child care providers at the WeTHRIVE! Recognition Event.

This year, we’re starting a new tradition of celebrating our WeTHRIVE! partners throughout the month of August.

What’s a WeTHRIVE! partner? Our partners (see the list here) support WeTHRIVE! communities, schools, and child care providers through collaboration and by providing resources and expertise to promote health, safety, and vitality in Hamilton County. They speak at our quarterly WeTHRIVE! Learning Collaboratives and participate in the WeTHRIVE! Speed Networking Event.

In addition to supporting the WeTHRIVE! initiative, our partners connect with each other through quarterly WeTHRIVE! Implementation Team meetings. This team was formed in 2016 with 12 partners. Today the team has more than 40 partners!

We truly value our partners for their hard work, collaboration, and willingness to share resources and expertise. This month we recognize and celebrate you!

We’ll have special stories on our website and posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so be sure to like and follow us so you won’t miss a thing.

Karen Schwamberger
WeTHRIVE! Outreach Contractor

headshot of Karen Schwamberger

reads We Thrive partner recognition month council on aging of southwestern ohio

Council on Aging helps a vulnerable population through COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Council on Aging (COA), a WeTHRIVE! partner, worked quickly to meet the needs of the vulnerable population it serves.

But it didn’t stop with the 26,000 older adults and people with disabilities enrolled in their programs. “We started to get lots of calls from older adults in the community who needed help but weren’t connected to Council on Aging,” said Nancy Green, COA relationship manager. “Anyone who called in received help.”

For COA, protecting the elderly meant taking action when the pandemic started, as well as planning ahead to be prepared for another COVID-19 surge or emergency.

Helping a WeTHRIVE! community:

When storms hit the area in April, Council on Aging was quick to help residents of senior living complexes that lost power in the WeTHRIVE! community of Mt. Healthy. The agency provided meals, flashlights, ice, and other support. Read more about COA’s response here.

Nancy says the agency’s first change was moving from face-to-face care management to tele-case management. “It was obvious from talking to clients that folks weren’t able to go to the grocery store to get food, personal care products, and other needed items,” Nancy said.

To help these seniors, COA started out by delivering more than 15,000 14-day meal supply boxes. Then it partnered with LaRosa’s, Taste of Belgium, Frisch’s, C&M BBQ, La Soupe, and Chef Anthony Jordan to deliver “comfort” meals to low income older adults living in senior apartment buildings in COA’s five-county service area. More than 11,000 meals have been delivered to date, in addition to COA’s regular home-delivered meals program.elderly man sitting in chair holding sign that says thank you council on aging and taste of Belgium

Adopt-a-Senior

To combat the isolation caused by the pandemic, COA created a program where volunteers call seniors to touch base, see how they are doing, and find out if they need anything. “Adopt-a-Senior is an additional layer of support for the vulnerable population,” Nancy said.

The program serves another purpose as well. “There are a lot of people who want to volunteer at this time and they don’t know how to safely do this, and do it where they can have an impact,” Nancy said. “So this is an area we’re developing right now.” For more information on Adopt-a-Senior, click here.

two women next to car with bag of supplies and person in background holding sign that says you are not alone
COA partnered with Frame USA to collect donations of laundry detergent, dish soap, sanitizing products, paper products, and more. This Fill the Truck campaign made it possible to distribute more than 800 boxes of supplies to older adults.
Surge Planning

COA is part of The Health Collaborative’s Greater Cincinnati Disaster Preparedness Coalition, which facilitates regional coordination and collaboration in response to COVID-19.

As part of this, COA designed an expanded version of its FastTrack Home services for older adults who are discharged home from the hospital and need additional services, like meals, transportation, home health care, and care management. “If we go through a spike in hospitalizations, we’re ready for that,” Nancy said. “We’ll be ready to implement this for hospitals.”

The agency is also working with The Health Collaborative to prepare for COVID-19 outbreaks in congregant living sites. “We’re really focusing a lot on the congregant housing area, since they’re living somewhat independently,” Nancy said. “That’s the vulnerable group we really have to watch for a surge.”

COA worked with area health departments, The Health Collaborative, and other partners to develop education materials for residents and managers at senior apartment communities in COA’s service area. The materials were sent to more than 160 apartment buildings and included enough education materials and masks for all residents at each location – more than 8,500 older adults in total.

Council on Aging deliveries to date:

15,000+ 14-day meal supply boxes
11,000+ comfort meals from restaurants like Taste of Belgium
800+ household supply boxes 
8,500 seniors received COVID-19 education materials & masks  

COA is a WeTHRIVE! partner. For more information, visit www.help4seniors.org. You can read more about COA’s COVID-19 efforts in this article by Cincinnati Magazine.