GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — From local colleges to local government, organizations across Northeast Wisconsin are coming together in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Thursday UW-Green Bay partnered with UW-Oshkosh and the Center for Suicide Awareness in Kaukana to host a suicide prevention summit where panelists shared their own experiences with mental health struggles and discussed the risk factors of suicide.
According to the CDC, in 2020 suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.
Brown County officials are also working to raise awareness about the resources that are available for those in need of mental health support. Rebecca Rockhill is the director of the non-profit Connections for Mental Wellness, which aims to address mental health needs within the community. The non-profit worked with the Brown County Health and Human Services Department to create a Brown County Mental Health Navigation Guide, which shows users where to go if they or someone they know is in need of mental health resources.
"This Brown County guide was all about at what stage does someone start looking for help?," Rockhill said.
The guide breaks down which resources to contact depending on the level of urgency of the user's situation. If they're looking for information on mental health services, they can visit MyConnectionNEW.org. From there, the guide shows users where to go for help in a mental health crisis and what will happen when they contact a crisis counselor.
“You can look at the guide and see where to move up to contact someone at the 211, to the crisis center and all the way up to an immediate crisis with 911," Rockhill said.
Rockhill says the idea for the guide came after mental health professionals noticed a growing need in the aftermath of the pandemic.
"A lot of different agencies that provide mental health resources or services just got full to the breaking point where individuals were having to wait two, three, four months to get in to see a traditional therapist," Rockhill said.
She says the hope is that making mental health resources more accessible will help someone who’s struggling to make a life-saving call.
“One of the reasons behind creating this guide is to help share in the community what are other sources that people can reach out to to start to meet some of those mental health needs without waiting to a point where they really end up getting to a crisis situation," Rockhill said.
The guide is available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. To learn more, you can visit browncountywi.gov.