Marshfield leaders discuss mental health efforts with Senator Bernier
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System and Marshfield community leaders met with Senator Kathy Bernier, of Chippewa Falls, on Feb. 7 to discuss local efforts to provide mental health assistance.
Life Tools is a critical program created by Marshfield Clinic Health System psychologists Michael Schulein, Ph.D., and Kelsie Offenwanger, Psy.D., to help children learn practical skills for their day-to-day lives. Marshfield Clinic currently works with 11 Wisconsin schools and organizations to implement this program, including at the Marshfield Clinic Health System YMCA.
Randy Neve, manager, and Jennifer Smith, program manager, Center For Community Health Advancement, Marshfield Clinic Health System described the goal of Life Tools is to help children be and feel more successful at home, at school, and in the community. The Life Tools group provides a safe place in which children learn practical skills for their day-to-day lives, called Tools.
Al Nystrom, regional president, BMO Bank, discussed his friendship with Mike Hackman who took his own life after a lifelong battle with mental illness. After Mike’s death, his family approached Nystrom with the idea of holding a run/walk in Mike’s memory. Since 2010, friends and family of Hackman have partnered with Marshfield Clinic Health System to raise $320,000 to support mental health education through Mike’s Run.
Dave and Tammy Meissner, spoke about their family’s challenges with mental health issues and programming available at the YMCA, such as Marshfield’s Youth Net program, an after-school and summer program for at-risk children.
Tom Umhoefer, president, Felker Brothers, Corp., discussed the Bonnie Jean Fund and the work it is doing to help support the mental health and social emotional needs of children, youth and communities. To impact more children and youth, a public private partnership is critically important.
Mandy Witt, owner of Power Pac and host of the meetings showed a video that parents of participating children receive after each individual group session. Witt talked about her parents, David and Tammy Meissner, and the Meissner family’s long history of supporting children and youth at greatest need in the Marshfield area; they’ve done this through the Fore Kids Golf Event and Fore the Kids Dueling Pianos.
Tiffany Halan, Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation, spoke about the fastest growing area of need of fundraising is to support mental health.