Marshfield Medical Center-Rice Lake has partnered with a local coalition to present community events meant to bring awareness of mental health and suicide prevention to Barron County.
The coalition, Community Connections to Prosperity, is a collaboration of many area organizations and individuals that all share a common goal – to improve the lives of neighbors by reducing poverty. Community Connections to Prosperity helps individuals, organizations and agencies understand and deeply appreciate the immense power of poverty and issues connected to it, including mental health.
A month-long series of community events targeting mental health and suicide awareness began with an education event at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake. Audiences included community members, local governmental staff, local school staff and health care providers who learned much about mental health and its impact on their community, organizations and residents.
Psychiatrist Dr. Brenda Kibola, who practices at Marshfield Clinic Health System’s Rice Lake Center, discussed depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder and talked with the audience about how to break the stigma by understanding mental health.
The series was followed by two community Question Persuade Respond suicide prevention trainings and two showings of the film Suicide: The Ripple Effect at Cumberland and Rice Lake high schools. The film follows Kevin Hines’ personal journey and the impact his suicide attempt had on him and those around him.
Event attendees also received information about local mental health resources and upcoming mental health events in Barron County.