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Washington County Reveals New “Change the Ending” Campaign

July 11, 2022 – Washington County, WI – The Washington County Department of Health & Human Services has announced a new mental health and substance use campaign to increase awareness of available resources. The “Change the Ending” campaign was developed to help direct residents who may be suffering from mental health or addiction and their loved ones to connect with appropriate treatment options in Washington County.

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“I’m very proud to see our community coming together to create an atmosphere of compassion, empathy, and support for those in need,” said Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann. “We’re committed to seeing this campaign thrive and have a strong network of programs, services, and facilities committed to connecting individuals with the support, assessment, and treatment needed to recover.”

The end of anyone’s battle with addiction or depression has the potential to be the most devastating, and arguably the most impactful. The campaign focuses on the end of that story and invites those needing help to change the ending. What came before doesn’t have to control what happens to them next.

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Digital advertising, radio and TV commercials, and social media content will all drive individuals in need of help to the website, www.changetheend.com, where users answer three simple questions to help identify the right resources for treatment needed to recover.

Mental Health America reports that over half (56%) of adults with a mental illness receive no treatment for their condition. This means that more than 27 million Americans experiencing a mental illness are going untreated in the United States. In addition, co-occurring substance use and mental health ailments are more common than many people realize.

According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 50% of individuals with severe mental health disorders are affected by substance use. And, 37% of alcohol users and 53% of drug users also have at least one serious mental illness.

“Our goal is to make community resources as accessible for everyone as possible,” said Julie Driscoll, Washington County’s Chief Health and Human Services Officer “We realize the work that is needed to help remove barriers and increase access to effective, quality treatments and resources. That’s why we’ve created this initiative—it needs to start happening now and we’re willing to lead the charge.”

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