September 30, 2022
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Marathon County mental health help now offered in multiple languages | Top Stories

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — When your life is on the line, it’s important to tell someone.

But what if you don’t speak the language of the person trying to offer you help?

That’s what Tony Gonzalez, who is the director of the American-Hispanic Association in Marathon County, sought out to fix.

“Earlier this year, I encountered a suicide by a family that had Hispanic people involved. I started really getting concerned about what access was there for the Hispanic community in case they needed some resources in Spanish,” Gonzalez said.

Now, through his and others’ efforts, if you are a Spanish speaker in the county and dial 988, which is the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, then press 2, you’ll be connected with someone that can give you the help you need.

“There is help available, that people don’t have to suffer alone through this,” Gonzalez said. “The county and everybody’s doing everything possible to make access for people at any time,” he added.

He also says the initiative is in the name of making sure essential help does not have a language barrier.

“You don’t have to be suicidal, just going through a rough patch. Call, and that way everything is de-escalated from the beginning and you are able to get things out of your chest that might be bothering you,” Gonzalez said.

He also says if you spot someone going through a rough patch and may have destructive thoughts, use a method called “question, persuade, refer,” or QPR. 

More information on QPR can be found here.

For more on mental health resources at your disposal, click here.



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