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MARESA holds community event on youth wellness in Marquette

Over 100 people, including parents/guardians and school administrators, collaborated on what resources could help assist students struggling with emotional and mental health
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Even though summer vacation is beginning, school administrators are focusing on mental health for students next school year.

At Marquette’s Ramada Inn on Thursday, youth wellness was the focus. More than 100 Marquette and Alger County parents, school districts, health care workers, and other community members with ties to schools came together.

MARESA Mental Health Services Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Krzewina said it was all about laying the foundation of where local communities are now and where they need to go in addressing youth health.

“We know that it’s really hard to be a young person in our country and in the world today. We want to make services more accessible to community members,” said Krzewina.

The main objective was for everyone to collaborate on what resources could be added to the table for each district. Great Lakes Recovery Centers CEO Greg Toutant was among the attendees.

“We know we want to bridge the gap between schools and the community that they don’t operate in isolation, but they come together as a mechanism of trying to help solve this complex dilemma around childhood emotional and mental health,” Toutant said.

Toutant praised MARESA’s attempt to start these conversations before the next school year begins.

“MARESA’s efforts at working with all the schools is an excellent conduit to bring partners to the table,” said Toutant. “I think through their efforts, they know what schools can and can’t do that are in their wheelhouse.”

For now, Krzewina says there are resources available to students.

“The health department does employ their own mental health providers who are contracted through some of our school districts as well,” Krzewina said.

A partnership between MARESA and Marquette Area Public Schools made today possible. There will be another session on action planning in August at a time and place to be determined.

Other current resources include the Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Crisis Text Line, Dial Help at 1-800-562-7622, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, and Pathways.

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