Heroes for Health: Eric Gallien

This spotlight series is designed to profile members of the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health. Over the coming months, the series will feature individual Collaborative members, each of whom is integral to the group’s efforts to forge stronger connections and establish new approaches to strengthen the social and emotional development of our children.

This series is an opportunity to highlight and recognize the diverse individuals, services and resources available to the Racine community.

Who: Dr. Eric Gallien, Chief of Schools for Racine Unified School District

Website: http://www.racine.k12.wi.us

Email: Eric.Gallien@rusd.org

Phone: 262-631-7067

Twitter: @RacineUnified

About Racine Unified School District: Located in southeastern Wisconsin, Racine Unified School District (RUSD) is the fifth largest school district in the state, serving more than 20,000 students. The District has 20 elementary schools including 3 magnet elementary schools, 7 middle schools including 1 magnet middle school and 1 charter middle school, and 5 high schools including 1 magnet high school and 1 charter high school.

RUSD’s mission is to educate every student to succeed. The District’s North Star Vision – that all students graduate career and/or college ready – guides its highly qualified educators in providing rigorous and engaging learning experiences for students. RUSD offers a wide variety of choices and programs that create opportunities for all students to excel, and the District’s culturally diverse schools prepare students to thrive in a global community.

Words from Eric, a Hero for Health:

I strongly believe we must take culture and background into consideration when discussing mental health. Needs vary widely throughout the smaller communities within the greater Racine family. Our solutions, therefore, must adapt to the individual needs of each community.

Poverty, for example, often becomes a culture all its own, with its own unique challenges and mindsets. Within that culture, subcultures emerge – often based on various ethnic or educational backgrounds. Each group faces challenges unique to their shared experiences, and each will respond differently to the issue of mental health.

Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health is vastly important. By working together with members who come from different parts of Racine, we can address more individualized needs and create a plan for success that fits within each unique community.

School-based mental health will play a major role in our ability to treat our city’s children. School-based programs not only provide care in a more easily accessible location, they also educate parents and teachers on how to recognize and properly address mental health concerns.

There are a lot of resources available to the citizens of Racine. The Collaborative is finding ways to best utilize what we have in order to aid the widest variety of people. There is a strong desire within Racine to improve our mental health system. With our shared dedication and increased communication, I have faith we will achieve success for children and families in all areas of our community.

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