WISCONSIN. (WAOW) — Last week, police in Wausau sprang into action to save the life of a teenager and prevent him from dying by suicide.
Now officials are speaking out about the mental health crisis in children.
They and other departments said there is hope and options for children who feel there is nowhere to go.
Dozens of treatments, resources and options are available for children going through a mental health crisis.
One, however, stands out from the rest, according to police and Wausau health officials: open up and talk.
“Just talk about it, talk about it with a friend, a trusted adult, a guardian, your parent, your grandparent, your older sister, your older brother,” said Misti Swanson, inpatient services manager at North Central Health Care, “Just don’t be afraid to talk about difficult thoughts or feelings you’re having.”
Being open to talking to children and teens about how they feel can help them deal with issues they have kept buried inside.
At Stratford Elementary, teachers work with students to hone their communication skills and better understand their emotions.
“I think all children in general can benefit from learning skills about regulating their emotions, self-regulation, learning how I feel, what I feel and then what can I do about it. topic.” said school counselor Tammy Berg.
They said they emphasize teaching children about their own mental health, so they can help themselves or someone else.
“We have really fantastic classes that talk about feelings, emotions recognizing suicidal thoughts.” says Berg.
They recommend starting the conversation as early as possible.
“If someone is having a mental health crisis, we don’t know unless we’re told, so always call if you’re worried about someone.” said Eric Lemirand, mental health officer with the Wausau Police Department.
Law enforcement reminds children not to be afraid to ask or call for help.
For anyone in crisis, call the national hotline at 800.273.TALK (8255)
Other resources can be found here.