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'QPR'

May 12

A Moment for Mental Health

Posted to The Pulse on Public Health on May 12, 2023 at 1:30 PM by Public Health Blog Team

May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness month. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront of conversations and has helped reduce the stigma surrounding it. Mental health needs have been identified as a top health priority in recent years in Walworth County, the state of Wisconsin, and nationally. Our 2016 and 2021 community health assessments have indicated that there is still work to be done to promote health-seeking behaviors and destigmatize mental health care. So how have we been working to promote and embrace mental health? 

Yellow Tulip in BloomYellow Tulip in BloomMay is recognized as Mental Health Awareness month. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront of conversations and has helped reduce the stigma surrounding it. Mental health needs have been identified as a top health priority in recent years in Walworth County, the state of Wisconsin, and nationally. Our 2016 and 2021 community health assessments have indicated that there is still work to be done to promote health-seeking behaviors and destigmatize mental health care. So how have we been working to promote and embrace mental health?

In 2019, we began providing Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training. QPR training is a suicide prevention training offered through Walworth County Health and Human Services. The training teaches participants the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to appropriately respond. This training is open to everyone, as we all have roles and relationships in our lives that could potentially position us to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide. In 2022, we trained more than 400 people! 

In Spring of 2022, we initiated the county’s Project Hope by implementing Hope Squads at local high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that reduces youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention. Hope Squad members are trained to identify signs of a suicide crisis in a peer and reach out for help. Hope Squads are implemented in 20 schools county-wide reaching more than 9,000 students. One hope squad member said, “As a Hope Squad member, I want to make sure that people know they are not alone, and that asking for help only makes you stronger.” Be the Lifeline 988, If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988

Right now, Hope Squads are celebrating the Yellow Tulip Project (YTP). The YTP is designed to inspire hope, happiness, and mental health awareness in schools and communities. Yellow tulips symbolize hope and resilience as they push through the thawing winter ground to bloom beautifully in the spring. They remind us that even in the darkest places, circumstances can and will change. With hope, all things are possible.

This month, we’re taking time for ourselves through self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone and can include exercising regularly, spending time in nature, treating yourself, and participating in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Find what works best for you and prioritize time for it. We’re highlighting how Walworth County Health & Human Services’ leadership practice self-care on our Facebook if you need more inspiration. 

If you or someone you know is struggling or needs support now, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org – You are not alone.

This content is free for use with credit to the Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health and a link back to the original post.