Dane County Board to Recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month

May 04, 2023
County Board Chair Patrick Miles, (608) 886-9167
County Board

At tonight’s County Board meeting, the Dane County Board will recognize May 2023 as Mental Health Awareness Month.  The recognition is meant to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues.  It has been observed in the United States since 1949.    

"Many people struggle with Mental Health conditions every day. During the pandemic and beyond we have seen a rise in the number of people experiencing anxiety, depression, other mental health conditions, and suicide, with the steepest rise among our youth. I want to thank Governor Evers for making 2023 the year of Mental Health for Wisconsin. I also want to thank my colleagues and Dane County community for supporting Mental Health Awareness, ending the stigma, and joining me in committing to making care a priority here in Dane County, and beyond,” said County Board Supervisor Kierstin Huelsemann (District 27).  

The County Board resolution recognizing the month points out that mental health crisis disproportionately affects students of color and LGBTQ+ students in Dane County with multicultural and BIPOC students experiencing the highest proportion of poor mental health outcomes among racial categories and LGBTQ+ youth experiencing the highest levels of poor mental health outcomes among groups of youth.

Dane County Youth Governance Participant Joey Kaji remarked, “recently, youth have faced a significant influx in mental health disorders, which includes depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. It is estimated that 49.5% of adolescents have had a mental health disorder. Students of color and LGBTQ students are disproportionately affected by this crisis. Taking a stand against this crisis is crucial so people receive the proper screening, support, and treatment.” 

There are multiple places to call for individuals and families facing mental health crises including Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-HELP, or also by calling 988.  

The County Board meeting will be at 7:00pm, information to attend/connect to the meeting can be found on the agenda: https://dane.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=1066981&GUID=094EE5EF-5228-4186-AC28-C75A453C193A