Mental Health Fair Held for Students, Community

Sophomore+Hayden+Bailey+visits+the+Suicide+Prevention+Committee+booth+staffed+by+seniors+Hailey+Schwobe+%28center%29+and+Emilee-Elizabeth+Maney%2C+the+student+organization%27s+president+and+secretary%2C+respectively.+The+booth+was+one+of+more%0Athan+20+offering+activities+and+information+related+to+mental+health+during+Chilton%27s+first+annual+Mental+Health+Wellness+Festival.++

Photo Submitted by Mrs. Christine Saukel

Sophomore Hayden Bailey visits the Suicide Prevention Committee booth staffed by seniors Hailey Schwobe (center) and Emilee-Elizabeth Maney, the student organization's president and secretary, respectively. The booth was one of more than 20 offering activities and information related to mental health during Chilton's first annual Mental Health Wellness Festival.

Shianne Berger and Bjorn Wetzel

The Chilton School District held its first Mental Health Wellness Festival at CHS on March 5. The day consisted of many activities, including an inflatable obstacle course, kittens, snakes and free henna tattoos. In addition to all of
the activities, many organizations across the Fox Valley participated in setting up booths to provide information about mental health and different ways to cope.

The organizations that ran the booths were encouraged to have an engaging activity for students to participate in. The Eastshore Humane Association brought in kittens for students to play with. “I thought all the booths were great to get information from, but I’m really into having animals for support with mental health, so the humane society booth was very beneficial,” Elizabeth Wagner, a junior, said.

Suicide Prevention Committee (SPC), a CHS student organization that focuses on mental health awareness, took the lead in organizing the event. SPC’s leadership team consists of seniors Hailey Schwobe, Shianne Berger and Emilee-Elizabeth Maney.

The festival included students from the seventh to twelfth grades. “We included the seventh- and eighth-graders because they have to deal with their own mental health,” Maney said, “so it is good to teach them at a younger age how to manage it.”

Michael Knaus, a freshman member of Suicide Prevention Committee, said, “I spent about half of the student portion working the SPC booth, but it was nice to watch how both students and teachers were looking around and really taking in the information they were receiving from the other booths.”

Rise Together, an organization designed to bring attention to the challenging issues of addiction and mental health, gave a presentation at the beginning of the event to focus everyone on the topic of mental health. To learn more about Rise Together, visit their website: WeAllRiseTogether.org.

After the school day, another part of the Mental Health Wellness Festival was held for the community. It began with a free supper, and then participants were invited to two sessions during which they could choose from nine different presentations by individuals who provided information about mental health. There was also a town hall discussion in the library about mental health in the Chilton community. And at 7:00 p.m., Chilton Elementary School held its opening performance of “The Aristocats.”

Prevent Suicide Fox Cities and REACH, Calumet County’s substance misuse prevention coalition, partnered with the school district to help plan and financially support the event.