May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The State of Wisconsin is working to promote awareness of the importance of mental health through programs designed to provide information and support to those in need.

The Dept. of Health Services has resources available online to assist Wisconsin residents understand the importance of mental health, how to talk about mental health, and where to seek help.

In 2019, the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention began to convene to study and work to address the impact of suicide in Wisconsin. According to the webpage, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Wisconsin. This bipartisan task force will travel around the state to hear from survivors, experts, advocates and families who have been impacted in order to better support those struggling and to improve resources for suicide prevention. Policy recommendations are expected to be released fall 2019.

For reports and information about the programs state agencies are implementing to support mental health, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Here are just a few reports available:

For more information about mental health and access to immediate help go to MentalHealth.gov.

 

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

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Wisconsin Elections Commission

Spring election day is the perfect opportunity to highlight the work of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the information they make available to Wisconsin residents. The Wisconsin Elections Commission is responsible for administering and enforcing Wisconsin elections law. They also help keep voters informed through the MyVote Wisconsin webpage by providing information about how voters can find their polling place, view ballots, request an absentee ballot, and register to vote.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the publications of the Wisconsin Elections Commission including annual reports and election manuals. Below are just a few examples of titles available in the collection. Click here to see the entire list.

Statistics are available from the Wisconsin Elections Commission webpage about voter turnout from previous partisan and nonpartisan elections in Wisconsin and monthly voter registration by ward, municipality, county, state assembly district, state senate district congressional district and age.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

 

Oral Health in Wisconsin

The Oral Health Program at the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS) describes its mission as promoting and improving oral health for the benefit of all Wisconsin citizens. The program website lists various ways the program accomplishes their mission including policy development, technical assistance, needs assessment, training, education, and through the planning, implementation, and evaluation of preventive oral health programs.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the reports and surveys published by the Oral Health Program. Here are just a sample of what you’ll find:

Click here to see all state documents about oral health available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives. For additional information, visit the DHS website.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Statistics About Wisconsin Women in Government

The Wisconsin Women’s Council is described online as a statutory commission on the status of women and girls meant to enhance the ability of all Wisconsin women to participate fully and equally in all aspects of life. The Council reports on the status of women in Wisconsin related to the economy and social equity.

The Wisconsin Women’s Council recently published reports about women in government. These reports are all available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Here are just a few of the most recent reports you’ll find:

Click here to see all the reports published by the Wisconsin Women’s Council available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives or visit the Wisconsin Women’s Council’s webpage to learn more about the various initiatives and events they have planned.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Understanding Transportation Funding

Would you like to know more about how funding for Wisconsin roads works? The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to reports and statistics published by the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (DOT) that outlines the various aspects of funding for Wisconsin roads.

The DOT publishes a biennial report called, Transportation Budget Trends. The 2018-2019 report was recently released. This report is a biennial report intended to provide information about how Wisconsin’s state and federal transportation are distributed across all the various transportation modes. The Wisconsin Digital Archives has Transportation Budget Trends reports for 2002 through 2018-2019.

The DOT publishes a series of reports also found in the Wisconsin Digital Archives that provide information on specific transportation funding topics. Here are just a few of the reports available:

For more information about funding Wisconsin roads, visit the DOT website.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Supporting Wisconsin’s Local Economy

‘Tis the season to support Wisconsin’s economy by purchasing products and gifts made in Wisconsin! The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) coordinates several programs to help support local business throughout the year.

The Wisconsin Foods Program is described on the DATCP website as an economic development program designed to promote local and regional sales of Wisconsin products, keeping food dollars in the state. The Wisconsin Foods Program provides a variety of resources for producers as well as grant funding through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant Program for industry innovation.

The DATCP also coordinates the Something Special from Wisconsin marketing program. Wisconsin producers can apply to be a member of the Something Special from Wisconsin program and benefit from having the logo on their products. According to the Something Special from Wisconsin webpage, the logo is a quick and reliable way to identify genuine Wisconsin products and services at grocery stores, retail outlets, farmers’ markets and restaurants throughout the state.

Learn more about the impact these programs have on Wisconsin’s local economy and how to buy local by visiting the Wisconsin Digital Archives . Here are just a few publications available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives:

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Elder Abuse in Wisconsin. There’s Help Available.

Wisconsin state agencies have been working collaboratively to promote awareness to Wisconsin residents about the growing problem of elder abuse. Programs and services have been developed by state agencies to help people identify and report cases of elder abuse and to help victims and their families receive support.

The Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS) has a website dedicated to connecting older adults in Wisconsin to a variety of programs and services to help with identifying and reporting elder abuse. A list, that includes a brief description of programs and services, is available online. Also online is a complete list of elder adults-at-risk help lines for each county.

The Wisconsin Dept. of Justice (DOJ) announced in a recent news release that they were awarded a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. According to the news release, “the “Abuse in Later Life” grant program will provide training and advanced victim services on elder abuse at project sites in Wisconsin.”

In an effort to promote awareness about the risks of elder abuse, the DOJ also launched a new website earlier this year, www.ReportElderAbuseWI.org. This website provides information about how to recognize and report elder abuse and information about programs and services designed to connect victims to the help they need at the local and state level.

Learn more about elder abuse in Wisconsin in the Wisconsin’s Annual Elder Abuse and Neglect Report published by DHS. Reports for 2004-2017 are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Life Long Learning.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness month to highlight the work state government does to protect Wisconsin’s infrastructure and to educate Wisconsin residents about how to be safe online and how to protect themselves from things such as malware, identify theft and data breaches.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the strategies state government has in place to protect our state’s infrastructure. Click on the following links to view the strategies:

Additional resources about cyber security awareness are available directly through state agency websites:

Blog post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Flood Resources from State Government

As some Wisconsin residents continue to face the threat of flooding and many are trying to move forward to begin the cleanup process, I wanted to put together a list of resources about flood hazards and recovery provided by state government.

Wisconsin Emergency Management’s (WEM) ReadyWisconsin webpage provides current incident reports related to flooding throughout Wisconsin. ReadyWisconsin also has information about how to get emergency cell phone alerts and ways to prepare and plan for emergencies.

The Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) provides information about how farmers, private property owners, and businesses should report flood damage. DATCP also provides information about other topics related to flooding including food and produce safety, planning for home repairs, harvesting animal feed from flooded fields, issues related to manure runoff, dealing with flooded farmland, keeping pets and livestock safe during flooding, and how to handle flood contaminated water and fuel storage tanks.

The Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) provides information for private well owners to ensure the safety of their drinking water if the well was contaminated by floodwater. There is guidance for how to properly dispose of debris and waste after flooding, including what to do with sandbags no longer needed.  Information is available for how to contact DNR staff who can assist farmers who need help storing or safely spreading manure in order to prevent run off into streams and rivers to prevent pollution and potential fish kills.

The Dept. of Health Services (DHS) provides information about potential health hazards related to flooding. The Wisconsin Flood Toolkit contains valuable information designed to keep you safe when flooding occurs and during the cleanup process.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance provides information about flood insurance.

Post written by: Abbigail Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Inattentive Driving in Wisconsin

Legislation was passed in 2009 to address inattentive driving in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) however, even with inattentive driving laws in place, accidents, injuries, and deaths related to inattentive driving have continued to rise. DOT statistics show an 8.2% increase in crashes involving distracted drivers between 2014 and 2015. According to a news article, even though alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin are on a downward trend for the last 30 years, there were still over 11,300 injuries in Wisconsin from distracted driving in 2016, a 6 percent increase over 2015.

In 2017, Wisconsin lawmakers updated inattentive driving laws primarily due to the advancement of cell phone technology. Wisconsin lawmakers expanded the inattentive driving laws beyond just texting to include Facebook posting, tweeting, and snapchatting. It also increased the minimum penalty for data-distracted driving from $20 to $100.

DOT publishes statistics about inattentive driving in Wisconsin on an annual basis. These statistics are available in the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Currently there are statistics for 2012-2016. With the updates made to the inattentive driving laws, the 2017 statistics, due to be release later in 2018, should be interesting to analyze to see what the impact the new inattentive driving laws have had. As soon as the 2017 statistics are available, they will be added to the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Visit the DOT website to learn more about the dangers of inattentive driving.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning