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Mental Health & Wellness

RISE Drug Free MKE is working on reducing harmful "upstream" factors that contribute to substance misuse while promoting factors that help a person avoid misusing alcohol and drugs.

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A critical factor is an individual’s mental health and wellness. If someone is living with a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, they may cope by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, or misuse medication that has been prescribed to them. In addition, some substance use may result in poor mental health, such as anxiety or paranoia.

Another factor that can contribute to or result from substance misuse is a person’s wellness. Wellness can be defined as "the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health." Note that wellness is an "active pursuit" and involves "holistic health," meaning that it involves the whole person, not just our bodies but our minds, emotions, spiritual path, relationships, and environment.

The RISE Drug Free MKE coalition envisions a community in which all members enjoy good mental health and are actively pursuing their optimal state of wellbeing. When more individuals and communities are able to make participate in healthy activities, make healthy choices, and lead healthy lives, not only will substance misuse decrease, but individuals and our communities will thrive.

Meet Gloria Marfo, RISE Drug Free MKE's Mental Health & Wellness Coordinator

Gloria Marfo

Gloria serves as RISE Drug Free MKE’s Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator, a position that allows her to connect and support community resources and members to improve Milwaukee County residents’ mental health and wellbeing. She is a certified trainer of Youth Mental Health First Aid and QPR Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training.

Gloria began her career in public health in Baltimore, where she focused on violence prevention and substance use intervention. Most recently, she served as Program Coordinator of the Supporting Male Survivors of Violence grant at the Baltimore City Health Department. In that capacity, she facilitated community events, including weekly S.E.L.F. Community Conversations with young males of color and their families and the Summer Youth Engagement Program for young men of color. Gloria also served as a Trauma Programs Intern in Baltimore’s Office of Violence Prevention and as a Substance Use Programming and Educational Resources Peer Educator at the University of Maryland Health Center. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Community Health, Special Populations, from the University of Maryland. She and her husband currently serve as the youth leaders in their local church and in her spare time, you can find Gloria admiring the natural beauty that this world has to offer!

Want to get in touch with Gloria? Email her now.

Mental Health & Wellness Blog

The next time you are drinking alcohol, pay attention to how much you consume. Then ask yourself if you are drinking in moderation or if you are binge drinking. You might be surprised by the answer.

RISE Drug Free MKE coalition partners, with the support of Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services, is presenting Light & Unite Red Week from March 18 to March 24, in conjunction with National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week.

During Black History Month, let's reflect on the invaluable strengths within our community and culture. These strengths should be passed down to younger generations. As adults, we bear the responsibility of upholding these protective factors, while lovingly guiding our youth to decide not to use alcohol and drugs to cope with the stresses of life.

Community Advocates Public Policy Institute invites proposals from not-for-profit organizations or government entities servicing Milwaukee County to provide programming and services directed toward the prevention of alcohol and other drug use and misuse among Milwaukee County residents of all ages.

It’s that time in January when those who made New Year's resolutions might be struggling, and those who didn’t make resolutions might be wondering if it’s too late to get on it. Here are some tips for completing Dry January and quitting smoking cigarettes.

For a limited time, The Wisconsin Quitline is offering more free medication for Wisconsin residents looking to quit using tobacco. Learn more in this blog post.

When it comes to vape safety, don't let commercial tobacco companies confuse you with smoke and mirrors. Learn more about the risks of vaping and how you can quit, today.

Learn more about Dry January and the benefits that a month of being alcohol free can provide you. Plus, learn more about the growing trend of sober living and how you can still enjoy a fun and full lifestyle without drinking.

Learn more about responsible drinking this holiday season and about sober alternatives.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can hit Milwaukeeans particularly hard because of the harsh temperatures, heavy snowfall, and less natural sunlight, which keep many folks inside their homes, socially isolated, and not physically active. 

Mental Health & Wellness Resources

  • Learn about these no-cost workshops on youth and adult mental health, suicide prevention, Mindful Gratitude, substance abuse and trauma, and verbal de-escalation techniques available to individuals who live or work in Milwaukee County.

  • 100+ community resources for Milwaukee County residents, including Black/African American residents, LGBTQ+ individuals, Spanish speakers, kids/teens/families, Indigenous Peoples, domestic violence survivors, and more.

  • Information and resources about the connection between mental health and substance use, from

  • From the Global Wellness Institute, information on wellness, the history and components of wellness, evidence, and resources.

  • Up-to-date information on substance use and health with a special emphasis on the impact of opioids.

  • Information on programs and services for Milwaukee County residents of all ages who need help with mental health and substance use issues. If you're in crisis, call 414-257-7222.

  • The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Office of Children's Mental Health (OCMH) supports Wisconsin's children in achieving their optimal mental health and well-being.

  • The Mental Health Crisis Card tells people who are with a youth, or adult, experiencing a mental health crisis what to do immediately, in the first five minutes, to de-escalate the situation. The card is completed by the person carrying it and includes calming strategies and what works and what hurts in crisis situations. From the Office of Children's Mental Health.