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St. Croix County to hold symposium on suicide prevention

NEW RICHMOND – St. Croix County will hold its first Mental Health Symposium 6-7:30 p.m. June 8 at Northwoods Technical College, New Richmond, Room 214. This is the first of what will hopefully be an annual symposium to share local perspectives and resources around mental health. This event is free and open to everyone. No registration required.

This first event will focus on suicide pre vention. In 2021, there were 12 deaths by suicide in St. Croix County. All 12 of these deaths were males, with 10 out of 12 occurring between the ages of 40 to 65. The St. Croix County Health and Human Services Department is initiating this euort to better understand and address behavioral health crisis events to improve outcomes for the people of St. Croix County. During the symposium presenters will share local data, perspectives, and resources.

“My hope is that we get to a place where we approach mental health crisis events with the same sense of urgency and compassion that we apply to physical health emergencies,” said St. Croix County Health & Human Services Director Bob Rohret. “It is impera- tive that we as a community find ways to talk openly about mental health and addiction to promote wellness and prevent crisis events from happening in the first place." Presenters include Rohret and the following:

• What the data is telling us, Patty Schachtner, St. Croix County Chief Medical Examiner • Veteran’s perspective – men’s mental health, Rick Rittmaster, retired Army Chaplain and ordained pastor

• Help is Available – Where to Find Local Resources, Shar Lopez, St. Croix County Behavioral Health Administrator and Kelli Engen, St. Croix County Public Health Administrator

• Q& A panel, all presenters Where can I get help?

We know life is divcult when you're struggling with mental health or substance use. Remember that it’s OK to ask for help and support is available to help you and your loved ones. St. Croix County’s Behavioral Health Emergency Services and Crisis Program provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, dial 911 and ask for the mental health crisis team. For non-emergency services, call 715-246-8255 to set up an appointment or get information on resources.

More information and resources are available at sccwi.gov/Suicide-Prevention Submitted by St. Croix County

May 24, 2022