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Portage Co. woman reflects on help from United Way

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tina bohn

PORTAGE Co., Wis. (WAOW)-- Many struggle with their mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, for one Portage County woman, a United Way resource helped her get through a hard time.

45-year-old Tina Bohn knows too well how it feels when you think there is not an ounce of hope in sight.

"I could just do nothing except lay in bed and cry," said Bohn.

Back in March, Bohn was a victim of a domestic violence crime. Even though her bruises faded away, she said the emotional scars lingered on.

"I'm the kind of person that likes to help others. I felt so helpless and hopeless I couldn't even pick up the phone, I kept sobbing. it took me three tries to dial the number," said Bohn.

That number was to the United Way mental health navigators.

A group from CAP services in Stevens Point helped Bohn pin point what was causing her stress and sadness.

"She helped get some of my health care paid for that was a result of the victimization. Some of the reasons you wouldn't think of mental health— they can help with," Bohn said.

"We will help them in assisting them to finding mental health resources like a therapist, psychiatrists, then we also assess for any life stressors that might be going on," said Trina Bierman the Director of Mental Health Navigation.

It is not just adults who need help, but kids are also crying out for help silently.

"Those with mental illness are the most stigmatized group across the world and so being able to talk about mental health, much like physical health, helps remove that stigma," said Lisa Grasshoff the Mental Health Navigation Advocate and Coordinator.

Grasshoff said kids can be having a hard time now that they are around fewer people.

"Kids usually act out their pain, they won't talk about it. Funding allows us to continue to reach out to groups that we know will reach out to those who need help," Grasshoff said.

As for Bohn, she credits her recovery to the mental health navigators and hopes her story will inspire others to reach out for help.

"I'm so much better as a parent and as person when I'm able to take care of myself and that, in a large way, I'm grateful in the services for the mental health navigators," Bohn said.

The services for mental health navigators is confidential and and free.

If you or someone you know can benifit from these services you can call 715-343-7104.

If you want to donate to News 9's virtual call for help for the United Way you can call 715-848-2927 or text "WAOW" to 26989. Donations will help fund programs like Mental Health Navigation Advocate and Coordinator, and can be designated to a specific county.

Victoria Saha

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