MENTAL HEALTH | January 22, 2024
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In Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties, it’s really important for young people to have good mental health support.

A report from Wisconsin’s Office of Children’s Mental Health says that a lot of teenagers are struggling. In 2021, one out of ten teenagers tried to hurt themselves, and many feel very sad or hopeless. Also, half of the young people have big worries or problems with how they act or feel.

The big problem is that many kids who need help with their mental health aren’t getting it. This is even worse for LGBTQ+ young people, where many think about hurting themselves.

It’s really important for kids to have adults they can trust, but the report says there aren’t enough of these adults for Wisconsin’s young people to talk to, especially for kids of color.

Pillar Health and Kenosha Community Health Center are working hard to help young people in the community with their mental health needs.

We have special doctors called psychiatrists who check, find out what’s wrong, and treat mental, emotional, and behavior problems. These doctors see patients who are 6 years old and older. There’s Dr. Codie Vassar, who speaks English and Spanish, and Nurse Practitioner Deshawntae Griffin, who works with kids from 6 to 18 years old.

We also have psychotherapy. It’s also called talk therapy, which is talking to someone to help with mental health problems and feelings. This is for adults and children as young as 11 years old. Their team includes Javier Luna-Blanco, Kari DeBerg, Amanda Martinez, Cassie Gillen and Erica Moreno, who are all trained to help young people.

Pillar Health and Kenosha Community Health Center want to make sure young people get the help and care they need. They offer services that are affordable, and they won’t turn you away if you can’t pay much.

We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and many insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance, you might still get help for as little as $30 through their program. To make an appointment or learn more, please call 262-656-0044. 

Easy Ways to Boost Mental Health: A Guide for Parents and Communities
  1. Be Active and Exercise: Moving around and playing sports are really good for your mind. Start sports teams, outdoor games, or just get together to exercise. This helps kids stay busy and happy.
  2. Talk About Feelings: Make places where kids can talk about how they feel and not worry about being judged. This could be in groups at school or just hanging out with friends.
  3. Less Time on Screens: Suggest fun things to do that don’t involve phones or computers. Things like reading clubs, art, building things or exploring outdoors are great.
  4. Find a Mentor: Help local youth find their way to community organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, Kenosha YMCA, United Way of Walworth County, or Mentor RUSD
  5. Help Out in the Community: Give kids chances to volunteer. Helping others can make them feel good about themselves and connect with people.
  6. Eat and Sleep Well: Teach kids how important it is to eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and make good choices for their health.
  7. Stay Calm and Relaxed: Offer classes in things like yoga or meditation. This helps kids learn how to stay calm and not get too stressed.
  8. Parents Get Involved: Parents should really be part of their kids’ lives. They should understand what their kids are going through and be there to help and support them.

The Milwaukee Business Journal Posted this List of Resources for students, parents and community members in Wisconsin

NAMI Wisconsin is looking for young adults aged 18-26 to join its Youth Advisory Council, which focuses on youth and young adult’s mental health. Applications are now open until Jan. 31:

Raise Your Voice! is a new youth movement from NAMI Wisconsin that empowers teens to create new conversations on mental health through education, leadership development and civic advocacy. For more information and to learn how students can form their own club, email [email protected].

Resilient Farms & Families, created by a team of UW-Madison Division of Extension and University of Wisconsin-Madison educators and specialists, offers programs that specifically address the mental health of rural Wisconsin residents.

REDGen is a Wisconsin- and peer-based resiliency model in middle schools and high schools that aims to reduce stigma, raise student voices and improve student mental health and well-being. To get your school involved, contact REDGen.

Parents, teachers and members of the community have a lot to learn about both the youth mental health crisis, stigma reduction and their own mental health and well-being. The Office of Children’s Mental Health offers this resource page, which includes fact sheets, accessing children’s mental health services, parenting tips and more.

Speak Up, Speak Out Wisconsin, created by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Office of School Safety, enables students, parents, school staff, or any community members to submit a school safety concern or threat via the website, mobile phone application, or toll-free number. Reporting is confidential. The Speak Up, Speak Out app is available from the Apple Store or Google Play. Call 1-800-MY-SUSO-1 to speak with a trained analyst or text “SUSO” to 738477 to receive a link.

Do not wait to schedule your appointment.

Kenosha Community Health Center has many appointment options in Kenosha and Silver Lake to meet your needs.

Schedule An Appointment


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