Mental Mindfulness –
Minding Your Mind

TB Scott Free Library Adult Department announces the continuation of the Building Merrill Together series with two nights of community conversation to address issues we face with mental health in our communities and throughout the United States.

Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30 pm
Mental Health Among Us:
At Work, in School, in Our Community

Tuesday, October 10 at 6:30 pm
Mental Illness in America:
How Do We Address A Growing Problem?

Much like physical ailments and illnesses our bodies endure, our mind may experience much of the same as it is a part of the whole body. Unfortunately, our society has managed to separate the two. Many Americans sense that there is something wrong with how we address mental health and mental illness. The words “mental health” or “mental illness” sit alongside a rather large plate of stigma with very little to carefully and compassionately wash it down.

Mental illness is common. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five children ages 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness. To compound that, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth and 90% of those had an underlying mental illness. NAMI also states that 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. We have individuals and veterans in our community that are affected by mental health issues and are afraid to seek help. More and more people are prescribed medication for depression, hyperactivity and other mental health related issues. As a result, dangerous mental illnesses are masked and are going undetected and untreated. Unaddressed mental illness has an enormous impact on individuals and their families in a number of ways. It carries through into their school work, home life and the workplace. It leads to lost productivity and, in rare cases, it can result in violence.

To address these issues, the T.B. Scott Free Library – Building Merrill Together series is offering two nights of open community conversations on mental health.

The first event, “Mental Health Among Us: At Work, in School, in Our Community,” to be held on Tuesday, October 3, will cover this sensitive topic through a panel discussion to explore and better understand how our mental health impacts our daily lives.
Panelists for this evening will be:

  • Renee Krueger, Director of Lincoln County Social Services​
  • ​Kristin Bath, Lincoln County Health Department Public Health Educator
  • Evelyn Lee, Private Practice Psychologist
  • Trina Knospe, Prairie River Middle School Guidance Counselor
  • Rick Wolf, Lincoln County Veterans Service Officer
  • Sue Nuremberg, North Central Community Action Program
  • Matt Deets, North Central Health Care Center Clinical Coordinator

Current trends regarding mental health in Lincoln County will be addressed, including the expanding responsibilities for social services staff, the increased severity of mental illness from the community psychologist perspective, the mental health issues among school populations, the mental health needs of veterans, the effects of poverty and homelessness on mental health, the barriers to mental health services, and the effectiveness of mentorship programs to improve mental health. Come be a part what will surely be an eye-opening, yet informative discussion. Be a part of Building a healthier Merrill community Together.
The second event, “Mental Illness in America: How Do We Address a Growing Problem?” structured as a community forum to be held on Tuesday, October 10, will focus on three pathways that can assist in answering the question: 
How can we reduce the impact of mental illness in Lincoln County?”
The pathways are:

  1. More preventive action necessary to deal with mentally ill individuals who are potentially dangerous to themselves and others.
  2. Modes of encouragement and guidance for people to manage their own mental health and be provided with the tools to successfully make that happen.
  3. Personal responsibility to make changes in lifestyle that allow people the freedom to plot their own course to healthy holistic lives.

Those in attendance are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas on how a small community like Merrill, Wisconsin, can positively, compassionately, and effectively help to manage the mental health of our community members in a way that will carry over and provide widespread significance to the matter of mental health in America.
Please join us for one or both events in the Community Room at the T.B. Scott Free Library to become better informed and to share your concerns about this very sensitive issue that affects everyone in the Merrill Community and beyond. The Building Merrill Together initiative, co-supported by T.B. Scott Free Library, the Interactivity Foundation (IF), and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy & Service (WIPPS), aims to stir government, business, and the general public to positively change Merrill through information and discussion, and by creating an open and transparent environment for change.
Refreshments will be provided courtesy of The Checkered Churn and First Street Coffee Station. “Mental Mindfulness – Minding Your Mind” is part of T.B. Scott Free Library’s Building Merrill Together series. Learn more about library activities and services on Facebook or call 715-536-7191.