Mental Health Awareness Month

There is no quick fix or magic pill for mental health issues, but I’m confident that together, as we learn and talk about them more, we’ll start to turn every month into one where mental health is a priority, both at home and at work. To your good health!

Well Wisconsin Invitational Teams Steps Challenge

The Invitational is a team-based steps challenge made up of 5 person teams. The Invitational begins with a warm up round on May 3rd, 2021, followed by 5 weeks of friendly competition, as your 5 person team is matched up with a different 5-person team. Participating in all 5 Rounds of the Invitational will earn well-being activity credit! Please click on the following link for more information about this event:

Invitational Overview

Registration for The Invitational Team Steps Challenge is open from
May 3 to May 9 at All eligible employees will also receive an email invitation to register around May 3rd. The challenge runs May 10 through June 15.

Report at least 5 days of steps in each round (for all five rounds of the challenge) to earn the Well-Being Activity reward. Completion of this activity, plus the health assessment and a health check, earns you $150.*

Use Wellness At Your Side from WebMD to register and track your steps during The Invitational. Enter “SOWI” as the connection code.

*The Well Wisconsin incentive program is a voluntary program available to employees, retirees and spouses enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, excluding Medicare Advantage participants who have incentives available through their health plan. The Well Wisconsin incentive will automatically be issued to eligible participants upon completing the applicable activities. All wellness incentives paid to participants are considered taxable income to the group health plan subscriber and are reported to their employer, who will issue a W2. In some cases, the Wisconsin Retirement System acts as the employer. Retirees, continuants and their spouses will have some taxes withheld from the incentive amount earned.

May Well Wisconsin Challenge: Explore Wisconsin State Parks

This month’s challenge is encouraging everyone to get out and explore our wonderful state parks. The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks have developed a fun event that will challenge visitors to explore the Wisconsin properties in new and fun ways to increase healthy habits, connect with family and friends, and help serve the community.

There are several activities to choose from like hiking, camping, fishing, paddling, photography, and volunteering to help clean the parks. Please go to the site to see all the challenges listed (link below under resources). There is no fee associated with the challenge except for a vehicle admission sticker. Plan to complete it with family members, friends, coworkers or just some alone time outdoors.

The challenge has started and runs through September 22, 2021. Participants need to complete at least one of the challenges in order to get credit for the Well Wisconsin Incentive. Register on the site and download the logbook. When you complete a challenge, log it and email a picture of the logbook to

Want to learn more about the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Explore Challenge? Tune in to Well Wisconsin Radio on Tuesday, May 25th from Noon-12:30. Host Morgan Meinen will be interviewing Mike McFadzen and Randall Paske from the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks.

Register here or available on demand after the live air date.


Wis. Friends Explore

WebMD: Health Benefits of Getting Outside

Well Wisconsin Activity for April: Better without Booze

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, so you are encouraged to participate in a one-week challenge called Better without Booze. The purpose of the challenge is to go one week without drinking alcohol. Hopefully to bring awareness to the fact that you can feel so much better and healthier without consuming alcohol.

According to the World Health Organization, worldwide there are around 3 million deaths every year as a result from harmful use of alcohol. Additionally, the use of alcohol can be a causal factor for more than 200 disease and injury conditions. It is okay to consume alcohol every once and a while, but in moderation.

To get credit for this employer sponsored activity, eliminate alcohol for one week. Complete the drink tracker and email it to  After completing the first week, we encourage you to continue limiting alcohol. It’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to exceed 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.

Alcohol and the Effects on Health:

  • Excessive alcohol use can lead to cancer of the breast, liver, colon, throat, mouth, and esophagus
  • Can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of getting sick
  • Increase chance of getting in a motor vehicle crash
  • Learning and memory problems
  • Mental health problems including depression and anxiety

Additional Resources:

Source: Well Wisconsin

LinkedIn Learning for April – National Stress Awareness Month

Learn Ways to Get Your Stress Under Control During National Stress Awareness Month with LinkedIn Learning

Stress–we all have it! It’s what we do with it that determines if it’s fuel or foe. April is National Stress Awareness Month, and there’s no better time to check in with yourself and take much-needed time for you. We’re here to help with videos and courses on LinkedIn Learning.

We’re here to help you take control of your stress–today! What’s one thing you’re going to do for you this month?

Source: LinkedIn Learning

Take the ETF Challenge: Build Your Financial Security

Take the Challenge: Build Your Financial Security

The Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge is under way for all Wisconsin Retirement System members and their families. The challenge offers participants free access to financial wellness education, resources, and tools to build financial security.

Take the challenge now! Go to

  • Start with a five-minute Financial Fitness Checkup, and then take advantage of hundreds of interactive courses, articles, and videos (a $1,000 value).
  • Complete and pass at least five Financial Fitness Academy courses with a score of 70% or higher to earn points and certificates of completion.

Challenge participants will receive a personalized playlist of courses on topics such as debt management, budgeting, investments, estate planning, and retirement planning. Courses and quizzes take about 15 minutes to complete.

“This program is a great way to learn about strengthening your personal and family finances,” said Robert J. Conlin, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds. “I encourage public employees, retirees, and their families to take the challenge.”

“We are thrilled to introduce this new comprehensive financial wellness program,” said Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. “This program will encourage and support healthy financial practices on an ongoing basis, not just in times of need or emergency, and it will help participants increase their preparedness for unexpected expenses and important financial decisions ahead.”

The Challenge: The Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge is anonymous and only requires an email address and password to participate. Participants login to access the self-assessment checkup and academy courses anytime during the duration of the challenge beginning today and continuing through 2021. The secure site is powered by the Financial Fitness Group and will reach the entire Wisconsin Retirement System, including 260,000 employees and 215,000 retirees.

Wisconsin Strong: The Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge is a part of the Wisconsin Strong: Your Financial Security™ program to empower members and their families to build financial security and achieve financial wellness at any age. Visit and follow along at #WIStrongSecurity.

ETF and DFI were awarded a one-year grant, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, to establish the Wisconsin Strong financial wellness program for state and local government employees, retirees, and their families. The grant is structured as a collaboration between the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, the National Association of State Treasurers Foundation, and Wells Fargo.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds