July 12, 2024

The Macomb County Health Department in partnership with psychology students at the Center Line High School (CLHS) Health and Human Services Academy recently completed a collaborative project that resulted in the development of posters and messaging that promote positive behavioral health.

Students in the CLHS psychology classes worked individually or in small groups to create adolescent-focused behavioral health images and messages centered on reducing stigma and encouraging youth to seek help with mental health concerns or substance use. More than 25 projects were submitted, and four projects were selected to be published in print and social media.   

The poster project aligns with Healthy Macomb’s recently published 2024-2028 Community Health Improvement Plan in which behavioral health was identified as a priority area. Healthy Macomb is a partnership between the Macomb County Health Department and more than 25 organizations, agencies, and community members dedicated to identifying and creating solutions that address health concerns in Macomb County. A key driver for the Community Health Improvement Plan is the Community Health Assessment which identifies the most prevalent health issues and highlights what community members feel are the most pressing health, wellness, and socioeconomic needs in their community.

“Our assessment was able to capture the voices of more than 6,500 adults through surveys and outreach activities to gather input from county residents” said Maria Swiatkowski, division director, Community Health Planning and Promotion at the Macomb County Health Department. “However, youth have historically been under-represented in the assessment and engagement process. In our 2023 assessment cycle we were able to escalate the involvement of youth, and concerns about mental health was a common theme. Getting students involved in the design and development of behavioral health messages allows them to be a part of positive change we are looking to promote through the Community Health Improvement Plan.”

“Thanks to the invaluable support of the health department, students at the academy have been able to participate in an engaging, compelling project,” said Christine Akroush, Academy Coach at Center Line High School. “This project not only enhances their understanding of behavioral health issues but also empowers them to seek out and make meaningful contributions in their community.”

Posters selected for publishing and use in social media, along with the names of the Center Line High School Health and Human Services Academy students who designed them, include:

  • “Speak Up”: Samiat Hasan
  • “54Y 50METHING”: Arienna Young and Miles Waugh
  • “7:45 Nevaeh”: Jaclyn Kupraszewicz
  • “Don’t Smoke Your Fruits”: Nik Ferrin and Trent Zielinski

For more information on Healthy Macomb and the Community Health Improvement Plan workgroups, or to download assessment reports and findings please visit www.macombgov.org/CHA .    

Images of posters that were selected for publication can be found here:



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