About Us

The Mental Health Coalition of the Greater La Crosse Area is a community coalition composed of advocates for mental health and providers of mental health services. We exist to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, to achieve insurance parity for mental health treatment, and to improve access to mental health services for those who need diagnosis, treatment, and support — that is, to create a mentally healthy community.


Our Mission

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families who live with the effects of mental illness, so as to have a mentally healthy community.

Vision: It is the intent of the coalition to address the barriers that prevent individuals with mental illness from receiving the treatment they deserve. The major barriers identified include social stigma, fragmented health care delivery system, lack of insurance parity, and lack of appropriate housing. The coalition will serve as an umbrella organization advocating for excellent mental health services and resources providing the best care possible to the community served. Educating the community about mental illness aids in the elimination of stigma, discrimination, community segregation, and isolation of people with mental illness, thus increasing the amount of community support for mental health.

We envision that this support will include:

  • One point, 24/7 access for emergency and non-emergency contact
  • Comprehensive mental health services
  • Diagnosis
  • Affordable treatment and insurance parity
  • Employment counseling
  • Re-integration planning (housing, transportation, etc..)
  • Community-wide education
  • General public
  • Employers/Labor organizations
  • Individuals and families effected by mental illness
  • Law enforcement/courts/correctional personnel
  • Religious organizations and service clubs
  • Schools
  • Elected officials
  • Landlords
  • Media
  • Support groups for people who are living with mental illnesses and their families
  • Affordable, quality, community-integrated housing for people who have a mental illness
  • Social agencies providing mentoring services

What We Do

The Mental Health Coalition is dedicated to forwarding our mission as a neutral convener and facilitator working to create a mentally healthy community. Working as an umbrella organization, we facilitate Information Exchange Meetings, collaborate as a partner in La Crosse County’s effort to increase health ranking and provide a forum for discussion of mental health resources and programs.


Thank you for your support

We thank the following for their financial support, which allows the Mental Health Coalition to continue to educate about mental health, mental illness and stigma.

  • Gundersen Medical Foundation
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare  Foundation
  • La Crosse Community Foundation
  • La Crosse Rotary Foundation
  • Don and Roxanne Weber (Shining Star Sponsor)
  • Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

History of MHC-La Crosse


  • Developed multi-media presentation, “Mental Health & Stigma,” to educate the community that mental illnesses are real, common and treatable.


  • Continued to present “Mental Health & Stigma” community wide.
  • Hosted quarterly Information Exchange Meetings; providing an opportunity for networking and collaboration among community groups and organizations, as well as individuals advocating for mental health.
  • Provided mental health information at employee health fairs.


  • “Mental Health & Stigma” presentations continued.
  • Hosted “Women and Depression” event during Mental Health Awareness Month.
  • Developed a bibliography – Comprehensive list of mental health resources available through the public library system.
  • Education focused on accurate reporting and stigma reduction for local media outlets.
  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) — October
  • The Competitive Advantage: Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace — November.
    Seminar to teach key strategies in helping businesses address mental health issues and become more productive and cost-effective.


  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) — Two sessions.
  • Produced “Mental Health @ Work” multi-media presentation offering helpful strategies for employers to increase productivity, retention, motivation and morale.
  • “Mental Health & Stigma” presentation ongoing.


  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) — Offered training for law enforcement and jailers.
  • Shining Star Award – Yearly
  • Information Exchange Meetings – Quarterly facilitation to focus on educating the coalition participants on key community programs and services.
  • Healthiest County 2015 – Participating partner in a countywide effort to increase La Crosse’s county health ranking to number one by 2015, representation at Annual Health Summit.
  • A conversation with Pete Earley – facilitated a community dialog and response to mental illness.


[originally adopted 3/2/05]


Section 1: The name of the coalition shall be the Mental Health Coalition (MHC) of the Greater La Crosse Area Inc.

Section 2: The population of focus includes, but is not limited to, La Crosse County residents.


Section 1: The mission of the MHC is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families who live with the effects of mental illness, so as to have a mentally healthy community.

ARTICLE III: Constituents/Coalition Partners

Section 1: Affiliates of the coalition shall include people living with a diagnosis of mental illness, advocates for mental health, and providers of mental health services. The membership of the greater coalition shall aim to include law enforcement, courts, correctional personnel, churches, service clubs, legislators, landlords, mental health professionals, and other members of the public who have an interest in mental illness who are approved by the Steering Committee.

Section 2: The Coalition may request to withdraw the membership of any member of the Coalition after discussion and a 2/3 vote.

ARTICLE IV: Board of Directors

Section 1: The Board shall consist of up to 10 15 members nominated and approved by the board. [amended 6/13/08]

Section 2: Board members shall serve 3 year terms commencing on January 1. Persons shall be limited to 2 consecutive terms unless approved by a majority of the board. The board members shall aim to stagger the terms so that one third of the memberships will expire at the end of the year. [amended 2/6/09]

Section 3: Any vacancy occurring on the board may be filled by a majority vote of the steering committee and the elected individual will serve out the remaining term.

ARTICLE V: Committees

Section 1: Committees shall be formed in the following categories. Subcommittees may be created as deemed necessary by the MHC Board Members.

Public Policy and Advocacy
Education and Public Awareness

ARTICLE VI: Officers

Officers shall be selected and voted on by a majority vote of the board on an annual basis. Officers may not serve 2 consecutive terms in a single officer position. Principal officers shall have a term in office of two years. Principal officers shall consist of a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. All officers shall have such powers as designated by the board. [amended 2/6/09]

Section 1: President

The President shall be elected by a majority vote of the board members. He/she may not serve 2 consecutive terms in a single officer position. [amended 2/6/09]

Responsibilities of the President shall include:

Leader and Spokesperson of the MHC
Preside over meetings
Assist in developing agendas

Section 2: Vice President

The Vice President shall be elected by a majority vote of the board members. He/she may not serve 2 consecutive terms in a single officer position. [amended 2/6/09]

Responsibilities of the Vice President shall include:

Assist the President in planning and leading meetings
Take the place of the President in case of an absence
Assist in developing agendas

Section 3: Secretary

Responsibilities of the Secretary shall include:

Assure minutes of the Board and the MHC meetings are accurately recorded and distributed.
Assure meeting notes are distributed to all interested parties

Section 4: Treasurer

Responsibilities of the Treasurer shall include:

Assure that updated and accurate financial reports on funding are kept.
Report financial status at board meetings.


Section 1: The standard voting procedure shall be a majority vote of quorum which equals 2/3 a simple majority of board members. [amended 6/13/08]


Section 1: Board meetings shall be held at least four times a calendar year. Meetings will be coordinated by the President.

Section 2: The general meeting of the MHC shall occur at least once a calendar year.


Section 1: By-laws shall be in effect upon approval by the Board. The Board shall follow standard voting procedure.

Section 2: Changes or amendments to the by-laws may be suggested by the Board. Changes shall take effect upon approval of the Board by the standard voting procedure.