May is Mental Health Month

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It is important to remember that mental health is important to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

So much of what we do physically affects us mentally. That is why this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month – Fitness #4Mind4Body.  The focus is to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help achieve overall wellness and set                                                                  you on a path to recovery.

May is Mental Health Month and we are focusing on how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the beginning of or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from these conditions. Eating healthy foods, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy.

It is important to look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to reach wellness. Exercising, eating healthy foods that can help your gut health, getting enough sleep, and lowering stress are all extremely important. It’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body. Living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but work on making small changes and build on you successes.

Remember that mental health concerns are common and treatable.  Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.  If in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Human Service Center of Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Crisis Line 1-888-299-1188.

For more information on Mental Health Month and information on exercise, diet and nutrition, gut health, sleep, and stress management, visit

Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties are working together to decrease suicide. We have been providing Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention trainings throughout our communities. QPR trainings teach people how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to get help. If you would like to host a training, please contact Jacee Anderson (Forest County) at 715-478-3371 or Tammi Boers (Oneida and Vilas County) at 715-479-3757.


Suicide Prevention Resources

  • Human Service Center Crisis line 1-888-299-1188
  • HopeLine Text Service- Text HOPELINE to 741 741
  • Crisis bed @ Koinonia – Rhinelander 715-362-5745
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • DVSA Crisis line 1-800-236-1222
  • LGBTQ Crisis Line 1-866-488-7386
  • Teen Line 310-855-4673 or Text TEEN to 839863
  • Local shelters
  • Local Emergency Rooms/crisis screeners
  • Local NAMI chapter – Rhinelander
  • Ministry Behavioral Health – on call provider during business hours
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National Infant Immunization Week!

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 21-28, 2018. Each year, NIIW highlights immunization achievements and the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that routine immunization of children born between 1994 and 2016 will prevent an estimated 381 million illnesses, 24.5 million hospitalizations, and 855,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes, at a net savings of $360 billion in direct costs and $1.65 trillion in total societal costs.

During NIIW, communities across the United States will celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting the health of our children, families, and communities. Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles.

During NIIW, the Forest County Health Department encourages you to make sure your child is up to date on vaccines by taking CDC’s childhood vaccine quiz, reviewing the 2018 easy-to-read immunization schedule, and talking to your child’s doctor. If you’re pregnant, now is a great time to find a doctor for your baby and schedule a visit to discuss any questions you have about vaccines. NIIW is also the perfect time to learn more about vaccines and the diseases they prevent by visiting credible websites, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine website for parents.

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use leads to close to 100,000 death in the U.S. each year. Excessive use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions and over time, excessive use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems.  This April during Alcohol Awareness Month we encourage you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol.

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During National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Go Further with Food” by preparing meals in advance to enjoy throughout the week.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated.  Planning ahead and making a grocery list before you go to the grocery store can help you save money at the grocery store and also avoid unnecessary purchases.  Try to use some of the foods you already have at home when planning your meals for the week.  Buying in bulk or family packs will allow you to prepare extra meals or freeze them for later.  For instance, roasting a whole chicken is an inexpensive way to provide protein for several meals.  Use the leftovers to make soup, add to a casserole, or top a salad.

Don’t forget to include plenty of fruits and vegetables and consider checking out the frozen foods aisle.  Frozen fruits and vegetables are often just as nutritious as fresh and usually cheaper.  Dried fruits are a nice alternative to snacking on junk foods and can be purchased in bulk to make your own trail mix.

The Forest County Health Department is participating in National Nutrition Month by offering nutrition tips and taste testing in March.  We will be hosting a taste test, along with recipes and nutrition resources at Schaefer’s Food Mart in Crandon on March 22nd from 11 am to 1 pm.  We will also be visiting Crandon and Laona Schools with a taste test for the students with assistance from other members of the Forest County Coalition for Activity and Nutrition.

For more information and tips on how to make your food go further, please visit  Find the Forest County Health Department on Facebook.


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February is American Heart Month!

In celebration of American Heart Month this February, the Forest County Health Department, in collaboration with community partners is offering activities to increase awareness of high blood pressure, which is often times referred to as the “silent killer.” Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or less. Nearly half of the American population over age 20 has high blood pressure and many do not even know it. You may not feel that anything is wrong, but high blood pressure could be quietly causing damage that could threaten your health. Certain risk factors for high blood pressure cannot be controlled, such as, family history, race/ethnicity, age and gender. The good news is that you can do some things to improve your blood pressure. Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke, reach and maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, reduce your daily intake of sodium, be more physically active, limit alcohol intake.

High blood pressure can lead to stroke, vision loss, heart failure, heart attack, kidney disease, and sexual dysfunction. The best prevention is knowing your numbers and making changes to prevent and manage high blood pressure. For more information please go to the American Heart Association website

The Forest County Health Department has created a month long challenge to help you increase your physical activity. The goal of the challenge will be to get 150 minutes of physical activity per week. This might sound like a lot if you haven’t been active this winter but you can start small with 10 or 15 minutes and work your way up. If you are looking for a place to walk, try your local school. All of them allow the public to walk inside during certain hours- you will need to sign a waiver and check into the hours. You could also try walking on your lunch break or walking in place at home. You can find the tracking calendar at our office, on our website or Facebook page.

There are several scheduled events this month to help you reach your goals and provide you with more information.

Holli from the health department will be visiting each Senior Meal Site this month to offer blood pressure screenings and information. February 6th 11 am at the Wabeno Town Hall, February 12th 11 am at the Laona Town Hall, February 13th 11am at the Crandon Community Building, February 20th 10:30 am at Armstrong Creek Community Building, and February 22nd 12 pm at the Alvin Town Hall. You can also walk in to the health department Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 5 pm to have your blood pressure checked.

February 5th – Walk with Ease class and registration at 10 am at the courthouse.

February 10th 8am to 8 pm – Raise the Bar Fitness Center in Crandon Open House.

February 21st 6 pm- The Crandon Pickleball Club will be offering a Pickleball demo at the Crandon Elementary.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 7 pm at the Laona School there is Free Zumba class with C.J. Sorenson.

Visit our Facebook page or call us for more information at 715-478-3371

Click here for a printable version of the Activity Calendar

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