Packers coach discusses Wausau anchor's death, mental health

Speaking to members of the media ahead of Sunday’s game, Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia brought the focus off the field.

"If that’s the last question, I just kind of want to hit on a personal note here a little bit," Bisaccia said.

Bisaccia took the time to talk about Neena Pacholke, a 27-year-old morning news anchor in Wausau, who died by suicide in late August.

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"Our wishes go to her family back in Tampa," Bisaccia said at the press conference. "She was, again, real excited about us coming here. She was growing into a great Packer fan."

Bisaccia said she was very close to his family and his kids. Pacholke's mom was the basketball coach at a Tampa high school where Pacholke and his daughter also played, he said.

Neena Pacholke

"Crisis counseling is a big deal, obviously. Mental health is a big deal. The suicide hotline, all those things are available," he said.

It's something UW Health's Dr. Laura Houser wants everyone to know about by drawing attention to the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

"The goal is really to connect with someone local and aware of local situations and local resources," she said.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Saturday, Sept. 10 marks the last day of National Suicide Prevention Week. However, Houser is hopeful the conversation continues every day of the year.

"I think the most hopeful thing about mental health and suicide prevention is it’s something we’re talking about more than we ever have before in terms of athletes and other famous people talking about their mental health," said Houser.

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Whether the discussion is on camera or at home, talking about mental health can make a difference.

"She’ll be missed," Bisaccia said of Pacholke. "Thanks for letting me get that to her family."

Rich Bisaccia

If you or someone you know is struggling, the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can be accessed by dialing 988.

Localized resources for a variety of circumstances can be accessed by calling 211. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also offers information and resources for mental health help and suicide prevention online.

Additional mental health resources can be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).