IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – Teens in Dickinson County are facing higher rates of depressive feelings and substance consumption compared to the rest of the state, as revealed by the latest local health needs assessment. The Dickinson Iron District Health Department conducted a survey of nearly 300 teenagers during last weekend’s Gus Macker Tournament to gather this data.
According to the survey results, teenagers expressed the need for an adult who would listen to them and more access to activities in the evening. These requests were among their top priorities. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Health Department is determined to address mental health and substance abuse among young people at an earlier age.
Angela Applekamp, the Community Health Services Director, shed light on the efforts being made to combat these issues. Great Lakes Recovery, an organization that works with schools, offers classes on mental health and substance abuse. The Health Department collaborates with them and focuses on teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. However, they are currently seeking approval to extend their program to younger children.
Applekamp also highlighted the active involvement of Tracy Johnson from Communities that Care, a non-profit agency dedicated to addressing at-risk youth. The Health Department is working to support the initiatives put forth by this organization. One upcoming event organized by Dickinson-Iron Communities that Care is the 6th annual Hope 2 Help Suicide Prevention walk, which will take place at the Midtown mall in Iron Mountain. This event aims to raise awareness and support for suicide prevention. The event promises bounce houses, face painting, a coloring station, raffles, local speakers, and live music provided by Norton and Chartier. The Hope 2 Help 1-mile walk will be on September 17th at 2:00 p.m CST.
The alarming rates of depressive feelings and substance consumption among teenagers in Dickinson County have sparked concern among the community. However, with the proactive efforts of organizations like Great Lakes Recovery and Communities that Care, along with the support of the Health Department, there is hope for a brighter future for the youth in this region.
For more information about the Dickinson Iron Communities that Care non-profit, please visit:
For the Health Department’s website, visit: