mental health

Today(9/10) is Suicide Prevention Day, with September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

A Northwoods professional says it's a good time to help another to save a life.

We asked Heidi Pritzl, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Ascension-Koller Behavioral Health about what professionals are seeing in the Northwoods... 

"...We have been looking at our local stats and in the Vilas county area where there's a rate of 21.2 percent per 100,000 residents who have completed suicide. That's a high rate compared to the national average..."

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Recent high-profile suicides have put the focus again on the nation's 10th leading cause of death.

Fashion leader Kate Spade ended her life,  and chef, author and traveler Anthony Bourdain took his life three days after Spade.

Licensed clinical social worker Heidi Pritzl of Ascension Medical Group says talking with a physician or family friend they trust hopefully will get the person to the help they need.

Pritzl outlines some of the local statistics...

This is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Next we hear from Mick Fiocchi, President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Northern Lakes chapter. Fiocchi says a surprisingly large number of people have some form of mental illness, but many are afraid to seek treatment...

Fiocchi says there are providers in the area that will provide help, including a number of providers not affiliated with large organizations. He says the main thing to remember is to just start seeking help if you are having problems. He says the earlier you seek treatment the better off you will be.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, a local health professional says people with mental illness are known to have a significantly higher rate of tobacco use.

Corie Zelazoski of the Oneida County Health Department and Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition details the studies...

Wisconsin Family Ties is a statewide nonprofit organization run by families for families with children and adolescents impacted by social, emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges.

Sunday, Oct. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Waters in Minocqua, that group and Iron County Human Services are presenting a day for families to learn share and for children to enjoy the day. A parent-peer specialist is Jackie Baldwin.

She says the event is designed for any family with children with disabilities....

A group of parents and professionals dedicated to promoting children’s mental health, known as The Children’s Mental Health Matters Coalition, is teaming up with community partners throughout Wisconsin for a youth poster contest.

Jackie Baldwin is a parent-peer specialist for Wisconsin Family Ties, a non-profit organization providing support and education for families who have children with emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges. Baldwin says the poster contest leads up to Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and day on Thursday, May 5 in Madison....

The recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams has prompted a Northwoods  professional to ask  people having problems to come forward for help if they feel suicidal.

Heidi Karns is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Ministry Medical Group. She says Williams shocking death has put a spotlight on mental health issues. She says it's important  to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and the challenges people with mental illness face each day...

National Alliance on Mental Illness

A spokesperson says a goal  is to have mental illness viewed in the same light as any other disease.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Northern Lakes president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter, Mick Fiocchi spoke with Ken Krall about their efforts.

This month the NAMI meeting features a question and answer session with psychiatrist Dr. Richard Immler. It's scheduled for Tuesday, May 27th at First United Methodist Church in Rhinelander. More information is at  or  email  naminorthernlakes@ yahoo dot com.

A spokesperson says The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain has hired nine mental health professionals to meet the demand.

Those hires are part of more than 1,600 new mental health hires within the VA system.

Spokesperson Brad Nelson says four of the new hires are under an Executive Order signed by President Obama to meet the needs of veterans and their families. He says with more than a decade of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the need is there.