By Tim Kowols
While physical health is tracked by daily exercises and good diet, the same cannot be said about mental health. Live Algoma will tackle the issue of “Emotional Wellness” Monday night when it hosts a community conversation on the topic in Rankin. It is a topic Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says is treated with a high degree of misinformation, stereotypes, and social stigma.
Through his recent involvement with the Wisconsin National Guard, Joski has gone through Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and will undergo Emotional Resiliency training in the coming weeks. Monday’s Community Conversation will take place at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rankin from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. You can read the rest of the Sheriff’s Corner with Matt Joski online with this story.
Although we do not recognize Mental Health Month until May, I wanted to share some great efforts which have been going on in our community in regards to the issue of mental health and the resources which are being explored in support of a healthier community. Normally when we think of health in brings to mind thoughts of physical exercise, diet considerations and first aid responses such as CPR.
For too long the issue of mental health has been treated with a high degree of misinformation, stereotypes and social stigma. This must change if we are to effectively address the needs of those who suffer with these conditions no differently than those who suffer with broken bones or other physical ailments.
Recently, an initiative has been undertaken to address the needs in our own community related to Emotional Wellness. Just as in the world of physical wellness there are two components: Prevention and Response. Whereas physical health prevention may include considerations such as exercise and diet, mental wellness incorporates concepts such as resiliency and support.
First aid can be applied in both areas to aid the individual until they are able to be attended to by a higher level care provider. To address those who have immediate needs in the area of mental health we would apply intervention techniques. Recently I was provided the opportunity to receive training by the military in a specific technique known as “ASIST” which stands for “Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training”. This training was both challenging and rewarding as you were placed in actual scenarios requiring us to transition the person in need from a place of despair and desperation to a place of hope and possibilities.
Locally, we have come together as a subgroup of the “Live Algoma” initiative to specifically address Emotional Wellness here in our communities. I am appreciative to have been invited into this group and hope that what we develop can be shared and incorporated throughout Kewaunee County. The next big event in this initiative will be held on February 12th at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rankin. The Title of this event is “Community Conversation” and it will be held at 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Please consider attending this opportunity to share the stories of those already making a difference in our community. We call these individuals “Bright Spots” and we look forward to showcasing their efforts as well as those of so many in our community doing great things to support one another in the area of Emotional Wellness.