Milwaukee-based youth mental health advocacy nonprofit REDgen
has named Brooke Talbot as its new executive director, as founder Amy Lovell transitions into a new role as board president.
Talbot previously was the student group director and vice president of REDgen.
Lovell founded REDgen in 2013 in response to several youth suicides in the region. She and her husband, Marquette University Michael Lovell, in 2018 launched Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM
), an initiative that brings stakeholders together to make the region a more trauma-responsive community.
The shift in REDgen leadership represents a new structure for the organization that's aimed at fostering its sustainability and increasing the focus on REDgen’s student chapters.
The Samaritan Family Wellness Foundation is donating $50,000 annually for two years to fund the structural change.
"Our student chapters are comprised of extracurricular groups of students in Milwaukee area middle and high schools. These students work within their school communities, impacting culture to increase awareness around mental health and educating on whole person wellness. Brooke has been instrumental in creating these, and is responsible for their success," Lovell said. "We are so happy that she will be bringing that knowledge, experience and passion into this role, and we are excited to see the impact this will have on the youth within our communities."
REDgen provides programming at 13 Milwaukee area schools. It also hosts an annual free speaker series in partnership with the University School of Milwaukee, free QPR trainings, free Circles of Security Parenting, collaboration with local schools and faith organizations, documentary screenings, and facilitates teen and parent wellness circles in partnership with Samaritan Family Wellness.
“I’ve been involved with REDgen since 2014, and I see REDgen as a catalyst for change within the community,” Talbot siad. “Through our advocating and educating around mental health and wellness we have seen many positive changes in students, families and the community at large. I can’t imagine a better way to use my efforts to support the mental health and wellness of local youth. This new position will allow me to grow REDgen deeper as an organization while also broadening our reach.”