Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan has taken a leadership role in treating behavioral health in children and young adults through a variety of different programs in the community.
The LSS Homme Youth and Family Program is a nationally recognized treatment program serving male youth who are troubled, traumatized and emotionally scarred.
The treatment approach, combined with the peaceful campus located in Wittenberg, helps children and their families regain control of their lives.
The organization also created the LSS Providing Access to Healing program that partners with the United Way to help teens overcome traditional roadblocks to mental health care, including scheduling conflicts, insurance concerns and lack of transportation.
Through this program, LSS provides outpatient mental health care to children right at school. Students typically improve class attendance and reduce other classroom disruptions.
In 2014, the University of Wisconsin conducted a cost/benefit analysis of a single LSS PATH program. For that school year, 155 youth were treated and the net benefits of the program totaled $7.5 million, or approximately $49,000 per student.
The study cited net benefits as a reduction in medical costs, increased productivity, decreased risk of suicide, and an increased quality of life for the students; a decrease in truancy and spending for behavioral and counseling services for the school district; and cost avoidance in the criminal justice system for the community as a whole.