Health educators spread mental health awareness in Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls (WQOW)- As mental health remains a major community health concern, community members continue to spread awareness.

Nearly 140 health educators, parents and others met Tuesday at the 3rd annual Chippewa Valley Youth Mental Health Summit in Chippewa Falls.

Various speakers shared presentations to provide help and support to youth who are struggling with mental health. Topics addressed included teen violence and current drug trends among youth. Another issue addressed was poverty, which one educator said can be a major cause of mental health issues.

"One of the social determinants of health for all individuals is: Do you have your basic needs met? Do you have the ability to meet your basic needs? That really drives the healthcare throughout your life," community health educator Laura Baalrud said.

According to the 2017 Chippewa County Health Assessment, 18 percent of students in the area suffer from one mental health disorder, while 22 percent say they have more than one. As News 18 has reported, mental health is considered one of the top three health concerns in Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties.

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