The past year has demonstrated how fragile our mental and emotional health can be. Our resiliency has been tested over and over by ongoing challenges and crises. There is no better time than Mental Health Month to focus our energy on reducing stigma about mental health challenges and to create a shared vision where everyone can receive the mental health support that they need.

Both the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America (MHA) honor May as a time to speak openly and honestly about mental health challenges in our country.

Children, teenagers and adults all are impacted by mental illness. When one in six youths and one in five adults experience mental illness each year, the need to provide information, resources, support and treatment is great.

This May, UW-Madison Division of Extension Langlade County is taking steps to inform the public about mental health. All month, we will be providing educational programs and resources to help individuals, families and communities increase awareness of mental illness, develop ways to boost our mental health and encourage open conversations to help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

We encourage you to contact us with more information about mental health and the following free, educational opportunities (UW-Extension Langlade County: 715-627-6236 or carrie.kubacki@wisc.edu),

Mental Health Month display and resources are available at the Antigo Public Library all month.

Mindful Movement for Mental Health: three, 30-minute sessions of mindful movement held in-person at the Antigo Public Library or virtually on May 6, May 13 and May 20.

Question, Persuade, Refer: a one-hour suicide prevention training for adults at the Antigo Public Library on May 26.

NAMI Walks Your Way: Information and activities posted along Springbrook Trail from May 9-23.

Adult Mental Health First Aid Training: a 6 1/2 hour virtual training for adults on June 10.

For more information about mental health month, visit https://mhanational.org or https://www.nami.org/Home.

Carrie Kubacki is a health and well-being educator for UW-Madison Division of Extension, Langlade County.

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