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Dead Bird Reporting Hotline Is Now Open

The Dead Bird Reporting Hotline (1-800-433-1610) has been activated and will remain open through October 31, 2018. Just like previous years, the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline is available for Wisconsin residents to report sick or dead birds, and to facilitate West Nile virus (WNV) testing of corvids (crows, ravens, blue jays) to monitor WNV activity. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and assistance with arbovirus disease surveillance, prevention, and control in Wisconsin! If you have questions regarding the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline, please contact the Bureau of Communicable Diseases at 608-267-9003.

 

May is Mental Health Month 

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is important to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.

So much of what we do physically affects us mentally. That is why this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month – Fitness #4Mind4Body.  The focus is to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.

This May is Mental Health Month, we are focused on how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the beginning of or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also help people recover from these conditions. Eating healthy foods, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy.

It is important to really look at your overall health, both physically and mentally, to reach wellness. Exercising, eating healthy foods that can help your gut health, getting enough sleep and lowering stress. It’s all about finding the right balance to benefit both the mind and body.

Living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but make small changes and build on those successes. Make a daily effort can go a long way. 

Remember that mental illnesses are common and treatable.  Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have.  If in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  If you are a veteran, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

For more information on May is Mental Health Month and information on exercise, diet and nutrition, gut health, sleep, and stress management, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

Would you like to do something locally?  Host a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training.  Contact Tammi Boers (Oneida and Vilas County) at 715-479-3757.

 

Department of Health Services Issues Warning About Synthetic Cannabinoids

Substance often called "fake weed" or "K2" can cause severe bleeding and possibly death. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is warning people about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids (link is external), often called “fake weed”, “K2”, and “spice”. Severe bleeding has been reported in people who have used synthetic cannabinoids, including one confirmed case in Wisconsin, and two deaths in Illinois. These products are found across the U.S. in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, and online.

Synthetic cannabinoids are not one drug. Hundreds of different synthetic cannabinoid chemicals are manufactured and sprayed on dried plant material or sold as liquids to be inhaled in addictive tobacco products like e-cigarettes or other vaping devices. New ones with unknown health risks are available each year. Synthetic cannabinoid products are unsafe, and the health effects from using them can be unpredictable, harmful, and even life threatening.

Call 911 or go to the emergency department right away if you or someone you know has a serious reaction to synthetic cannabinoids.

Tobacco Products Hit a New Low with E-Cigarettes that look like USB Flash Drives

Teachers are used to dealing with disruptions in the classroom – things like passing notes, using cell phones, talking out of turn, etc. Teachers now have a new one to worry about – JUUL e-cigarettes. This alarming upward trend of kids smoking e-cigarettes or “vaping” is occurring in middle schools, high schools and college campuses nationwide. This practice of inhaling through a vape pen can also be referred to as “JUULing,” named after a brand called JUUL, which make devices that are easily concealed.

Students could have these products in the classroom and discretely use them without the teacher even knowing. They are so small, they can be hidden in pens and highlighters and are often mistaken for USB flash drives. They can actually be charged on a laptop or computer.

These products comes in “kid friendly” flavors like cool mint, wild berry and mango. Flavoring these products has been a successful strategy in getting youth to use new tobacco products. In Wisconsin, 96% of middle schoolers say they probably wouldn’t try an e-cigarette – the most popular tobacco product among youth today – if it wasn’t flavored.

The state recently launched a new campaign called the “Tobacco is Changing” to raise awareness of how candy flavors and deceptive packaging are successfully luring kids into a lifetime of addition. You can learn more about the “Tobacco is Changing” Campaign.

 

Tips for Food Safety in a Power Outage:

https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/2015/05/power-outage.html

 

Survivors of Suicide Support Group Meets in Rhinelander

Has someone you love taken their own life?  Are you troubled with questions like, “why?”, “what brought this on?”, “why my family?”.  Do you find yourself with no one to talk to about your frustrations and confusion regarding the suicide of your loved one?  Then you are a Survivor of Suicide (SOS) and have a safe place to go to discuss your issues.

The SOS support group was started in July of 2005.  The group is facilitated by Sue Mackowski, a Certified Bereavement Specialist and Consultant.  The group originated as a result of the co-founder’s need for support after the death of her son.  Tina Werres, a Rhinelander native, lost her son Paul to suicide in 2001.  In the months following his death, she struggled with the loss and understood the need for people suffering from the unique backlash of suicide to have a gathering place to meet their needs.  Those needs planted the seeds for the formation of the Survivors of Suicide support group.

The Rhinelander based Survivors of Suicide support group meets once a month, the third Saturday at the Curran Building, 315 S. Oneida Avenue, Rhinelander.  The meetings are from 10am-12 noon.  The SOS support group offers a safe and confidential environment to discuss the unique grieving process experienced by those whose lives have been touched by suicide.  It is a place where survivors tell their stories, share their experiences, and help each other move forward in their grief journey.  The meetings are informal and confidentiality is the primary guideline.  The SOS support group is free and open to the public.

Since its inception, our group has served families and individuals from the Northwood’s area.  Our goal is to provide a “safe haven” for those dealing with the death of a loved one due to suicide.  In addition to group discussions, we have a small library of books, pamphlets, and other literature dealing with grief and loss, specifically loss due to suicide that is available to attendees.

We invite all of you who are struggling with the death of a loved one who has taken their life to join us. 

If you have any questions regarding the meeting schedule or content, please call Sue Mackowski, 715-275-5399 or Tina Werres, 716-499-3002.  Remember, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”.