Buffalo Co. students participate in positivity and mental health workshop

MONDOVI, Wis. (WEAU) -- Students in Buffalo County got to spend the day Friday learning about contributing factors to one's mental well-being.

Buffalo County 5th and 6th graders participated in a prevention program at Mondovi Middle School. It was a half-day workshop on making positive choices, mental health, bullying prevention and more.

Statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Health show 50% of all lifetime mental illnesses develop by age 14.

“It’s all about positive choices, working on relationships with other students, how to keep themselves safe and how to live healthy lives,” said Jamie McGuire, Mondovi Middle School teacher.

The day included many creative ways to teach the children, including hosting a game show.

“We're talking about ways young people can help others when they notice that their friends are having mental health issues,” said Annie Lisowski, professor of youth development.

The topics of positive peer relationships, mental health and vaping were selected as target prevention areas based on local research data.

There was also a motivational speaker, Carl Olson, who has spoken to thousands of students throughout the Midwest about leadership and coping skills.

The program also included both a nicotine presentation one with the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department drug investigation dog.

“It’s so important from young people to hear from a variety of educators, a variety of social workers, and law enforcement, so they can feel comfortable when they’re interacting with people in the community and school and know they have support,” said Lisowski.