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Lunch Bunch kicks off 'Mental Health Matters Week' Monday
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DARLINGTON - The topic of discussion at the noon to 1 p.m. March 12 meeting of Lunch Bunch will be "Mental Health Awareness, including Anxiety and Depression" in the County Board Room of the Lafayette County Courthouse. Feel free to bring a lunch during this informal hour.

Dr. Martin Cleary, Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County Primary Care Clinic, will be the presenter. He will cover identifying signs and symptoms of mental illness, where to go for help and looking forward to the future. Questions from the public are welcome.

Cleary's presentation will be the "kick-off" to the upcoming "Mental Health Matters Week" in Lafayette County which will be observed March 18-24. The "Mental Health Matters" Coalition, consisting of guidance counselors, clergy, law enforcement, library personnel, human services, the health department, the hospital and others, is planning many activities throughout Lafayette County to provide awareness and education on mental health.

Often not discussed as part of overall health, mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how people think, feel and act and determines how stress, relating to others and making choices are handled.

Mental health is important at every stage of life. Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities.

Some of the activities planned during "Mental Health Matters Week" include mass education through radio spots, printed materials, posters in communities, school activities through the guidance departments, a reception at Lafayette County Human Services and a day-long "Mental Health First-Aid" course.

Lunch Bunch is free and open to the public and is sponsored in part by Lafayette County Home and Community Education, UW-Extension and free-will donations.