Sunday, May 19, 2024

Chippewa Valley prepares for Mental Health Awareness month

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CHIPPEWA VALLEY, Wis. (WEAU) – This Mental Health Awareness month, the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls School Districts are looking to help those who need it.

“You can promote positive mental health by encouraging going outside, drinking water, getting enough sleep, having positive interactions with friends, going out and being in nature, and having a positive role model in a students life. So anytime you can encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors, that would greatly impact the students mental health as well,” Director of Mental Health and Resiliency, Jamie Ganski.

Ganski said that is a student is struggling with mental health, there are signs to look for.

“It could look like a student not coming to school. Maybe they are flustered or frustrated or not able to actually focus on the academic material. And so when you’re able to get the student that mental health support that’s needed, that then helps them academically, because then they’re able to focus, they’re able to be present in the classroom and able to learn,” Ganski said.

Executive Director of Student and Special Education for the Eau Claire School District, Kaying Xiong, said mental health doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“When somebody is struggling with some type of mental health on the continuum of very insignificant situations to very severe situations, they need to get help, that help is out there. And again students as well as adults should seek help when needed. And I think the awareness is just to let people know it’s a thing, and it’s not negative,” Xiong said.

By promoting positive mental health, Xiong said it can also positively change the way people think about it.

“I think mental health is a journey. Mental health can be a positive thing and I think our community as well as our schools need to kind of help remove the narrative around de stigmatizing the fact that mental health is a negative thing and should not be talked about,” Xiong said.

For those who need someone to talk to, text HOPELINE to 741741. For a suicide and crisis lifeline, dial 988.

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