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What is Mental Health and Wellness?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described mental health as, “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.” Mental wellness involves resources that contribute to our overall well-being, including physical activity, creative activities, adequate rest/sleep, and healthy eating. Mental health and wellness impact the ability to function in daily life. Improve your mental wellness and your mental health with improve with it.

How will my child benefit from Wellness Screen?

Parents/Guardians are excellent observers of their children’s mental well-being. For many, Wellness Screen will confirm your child is mentally well. However, over time internal mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety become more and more challenging to identify. Wellness Screen asks questions related to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It looks to identify mental health concerns related to depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. Early identification of these mental health concerns allows for early intervention and, for some, life saving mental health treatment.

Why Offer Wellness Screen in Schools?

Like vision and hearing, mental wellness is a major factor in your child’s academic success and quality of life. Wellness Screen is offered within school systems because school is typically a safe and supportive environment for children. In addition, it is convenient! Universal screening helps reduce stigma related to mental health and reduces barriers to accessing mental health resources. Wellness Screen is offered through Samaritan and is separate from the school system. In most instances, Wellness Screen information will not be shared without written permission. Wellness Screen is offered in 14 school districts across five counties in the Fox Valley region.

How will I as a parent be involved?

You will receive a Notification Letter via email from your child’s school, informing you that Wellness Screen will be offered to your child. It is recommended that you speak with your child about the screen. Your child must assent to participate on the day of screening. If your child is absent or chooses not to participate you will be notified. For many parents/guardians Wellness Screen will confirm your child is mentally well. In this case, you will receive nothing further. If a potential mental health concern is identified, you will receive a telephone call from Wellness Screen staff. All efforts are made to verbally share the results of the screen and to discuss recommendations to improve your child’s mental wellness. Wellness Screen staff will provide resources and can assist with connection to medical or mental health treatment, but you will play a key role in your child’s ongoing care. If you have additional questions contact Wellness Screen at 920-886-9319 ext. 111. Interpretation services are available if needed. Please state your native language at the beginning of the call and you will be connected. Note: FAQ’s above mostly answer questions related to the Youth Report version of Wellness Screen. Youth Report is for students in 6th-12th grade. Wellness Screen also offers screening for student in K-5th grade. For those students a parent/guardian is asked to answer questions about thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on behalf of their child. If you have questions related to this process, please reach out using the contact information above. Wellness Screen does not diagnose or make specific treatment recommendations. Wellness Screen staff partner with parents/guardians to help understand the results of the screen and support students and families in seeking resources and services to improve mental wellness. Wellness Screen can assist with connection to medical or mental health providers who can complete a more thorough mental health evaluation.