DARLINGTON – Four students from schools within Lafayette County won the ability to have their drawings about mental health made into a mural at the Lafayette County Human Services in Darlington.
Blair Vosberg, a first grader from Benton School District, won the K-1 grade group; Lukas Orloff, a fourth grader from Pecatonica School District in Blanchardville won the 2-4 grade group; Zariah Jones, a sixth grader from Benton School District, won the 5-8 grade group and Rebecca Thompson, a freshman from Darlington School District won the 9-12 grade group.
Thompson mentioned how it was fun trying to come up with ideas for creating the artwork. Jones said it was a good experience to show people that may be dealing with mental health that others are there for them and support them.
Most of the schools within the county participated in the blitz week for Mental Health Matters from March 18-24. Mental Health Matters is a group of caring professionals and citizens who formed in October of 2017 for the purpose of exploring mental health issues in Lafayette County. Students were asked to participate in a poster contest incorporating the theme “Make Someone’s Day Yellow”. Make Someone’s Day Yellow is a children’s book that is a guide to making the world a better place.
All the schools did their own contest for all the categories. The schools then chose their winner for each category and sent them to Human Services department to judge on the final winners. Staff at Human Services voted on the winners of each group by having the art displayed in their break room, sans names and school district.
Ashlee Glowacki, who works in Family Services, came up with the mural idea for a way to brighten up the walls at the Human Services building.
“We have families and kids that come here and I wanted something to liven up the building. It was also a good way to tie in mental health and by bringing in a community aspect,” Glowacki stated. “It was hard to choose a winner. There were a lot of excellent entries and a lot of great messages put in with the drawings.”
Local artist Kate Bausch donated all of her time to complete the mural incorporating all the artwork in almost two weeks.
“It was really my pleasure and honor to replicate your work. I get goose bumps just thinking about them. You each did excellent work in showing what really you wanted to say,” Bausch said to the students during the mural unveiling.
Current the Mental Health Matters group is working on raising awareness about mental health in the farming community. The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. They are trying to get farmers on board to open up and talk about their struggles.
To learn more information about the Mental Health Matters group or to be able to find some help about mental health, visit the Mental Health Matters of Lafayette County Facebook page where meeting times, people to talk to and resources on where to get help can be found.