Tag Archives: health

Urgent Care for Adult Mental Health

by Anna Raudenbush, Client Advocate

There has long been a gap in mental health services for folks who don’t need emergency room level care, but cannot wait a couple weeks to see a provider.  Now St. Paul has a new service to fill that gap, the Urgent Care for Adult Mental Health center.  Located at 402 University Avenue East, the center is meant for anyone in Ramsey, Dakota, and Washington Counties who need immediate non-emergency mental health support.

The center is operated by the Mental Health Crisis Alliance, formerly EMACs, and managed by Ramsey County.  While they offer on-site support and walk-ins, they also operate a mobile crisis team for Ramsey County.

Going to a new place for mental health care can be nerve-wracking; it’s hard to feel comfortable when you don’t know what to expect.  Fortunately, the Urgent Care center is hosting monthly open houses on the first Friday of each month at 1PM.  These open houses are free and anyone can come, no RSVP required.  At the open house visitors will get to tour the new center.  This is a great way to get familiar with mental health services in Ramsey County and to learn how Urgent Care can be a resource for you.

You can find more information about Urgent Care for Adult Mental Health here.   For more information about the monthly open houses, you can call their front desk at 651-266-4008.

Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that one in five adults experienced mental illness in 2009. Yet, the majority of individuals that have these types of health conditions do not seek treatment because of cost, fear of stigma, and lack of knowledge of the treatments that exist.  By educating the workforce on mental health issues, an organization can create a supportive climate that can break down the barriers of stigma and lead to steps that promote better health. The following are ideas on implementing mental health into existing health promotion and communications efforts at work.

Partner with community mental health agencies and existing benefit providers: These agencies often provide training and educational materials to community members, including area businesses.

  •  Training can include formal presentations on common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress in the workplace. If you have an employee assistance program (EAP), training or educational seminars may be part of your contracted service or may be available for an additional fee.
  •  Educational materials can include brochures, booklets, and training and resource manuals that can approach a variety of topics relating to mental health. These services are often provided at a low cost or, in some cases, free of charge.
  •  Incorporate mental health into your company’s health or wellness fair. EAPs and community agencies often provide information for employees at these events.

Add mental health information to your existing communications: Newsletters, payroll stuffers, post cards, e-mail blasts, and other communications can all help initiate your organization’s commitment to mental health.

  •  An internal newsletter can provide a great opportunity to talk about health issues. Your EAP, health care provider, or local community mental health agency may be able to provide material or assist you with the article.
  •  Payroll stuffers and post cards provide another option for reaching out to employees and their family members.
  •  Placing literature in inconspicuous areas of the workplace is also important. Instead of placing brochures in a break room or busy hallway, provide these materials in a subtle and inconspicuous place for employees, such as restrooms.
  •  Make sure that toll-free numbers and websites for the company’s EAP and health care provider, and/or the community mental health agency, are included in all mental health educational materials. Also, be sure that information about mental health benefits available from your EAP and health insurer is easily accessible on your company’s website. Promoting your benefits will create awareness and utilization.

*This information was adapted from “Mental Health at Work: A Resource Manual for Minnesota Employers.” To obtain a copy of this manual and other MHAM workplace publications, please visit the Workplace Publications Page.

Heat Alert

We’ve had a few hot days in Minnesota, and hope you all are beating the heat.

Individuals on certain medications may be more vulnerable to heat stress. Persons taking regular medication should consult with their physician.  Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather, such as reducing a person’s ability to sweat. If you are on such a medication, or if you know someone who is, please take a look at these strategies for managing heat stress.

To avoid heat-related illness:

  • Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas.  If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering and sunscreen.  A wide brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun; it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
  • Shut blinds and open windows slightly during the day to release trapped hot air.  Use air conditioners if you have them.
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water and fruit juices; avoid alcohol, carbonated or caffeinated drinks.  Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
  • Eat frequent, small meals; avoid high-protein foods
  • Take cool baths or showers—cold water can lower body temperatures 25 times faster than sitting in an air-conditioned room
  • Spend time (even 2 hours will reduce the risk of heat-related illness) in an air-conditioned environment or basement; cover windows to block direct sunlight; turn lights on low or off; use fans to blow hot air outside.  Public libraries, community centers or other similar locations may be a good option for spending some time away from the heat.
  • Do NOT direct fans to blow in at you.  Fans can actually increase heat stress.
  • Do not leave older people, children, or pets, alone in cars.

Non-emergency questions about how to stay cool—call 2-1-1 or for emergency heat-related health problems—call 9-1-1

Volunteers Sought for Hennepin County Citizen Advisory Boards

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants from the community to fill positions on seven citizen advisory boards, including the Adult Mental Health Advisory Council. This 32 member council advises the County Board on adult mental health issues within Hennepin County and monitors, studies, and comments on mental health issues at the federal, state, and local levels. Members serve three-year terms and meet monthly on the third Thursday from 2:00 until 4:30 p.m. The council meets at the Hennepin County Hosmer Library in Minneapolis. located at 347 East 36th Street. Volunteers must be a resident of Hennepin County to be eligible to serve on the council.

For more information or to apply for this volunteer position, please visit the Hennepin County website.

Applications will be taken through Friday, January 7, 2011.

Give to the Max!

What if you could help us win $1000 just by giving 10 bucks? On November 16, Give to the Max Day, you can. Last year we saw over $4,000 in donations through Give to the Max, so we’re very excited to be participating again this year.

Visit our page on GiveMN.org on November 16 to make a donation.

Overall last year, more than 38,000 donors logged on to GiveMN.org and gave over $14 million to more than 3,000 Minnesota charities and nonprofits in 24 hours during Give to the Max Day. This year, the goal for GiveMN.org  is to beat that record by engaging 40,000 donors during the second annual Give to the Max Day on November 16. The Mental Health Association of Minnesota together with GiveMN.org – a first-of-its-kind giving website for nonprofits in Minnesota – is working to create a stronger nonprofit community for Minnesota.

GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day amplifies your giving impact in a number of ways:

  • Win a Golden Ticket! $1,000 will be given to a random donor’s charity every hour. You could be that donor! If you are up early or up late, increase our chances of winning that $1,000 by donating at time when there are fewer people awake.
  • Put us on the Leader Board! Your donation on November 16, could put us on the leader board to win $10,000 or even $20,000 for the most number of donors for our nonprofit. Help us get “on the board!”

Visit the MHAM page at GiveMN.org to donate.

And thank you to all of our donors throughout the year. We appreciate  your support of our mission to enhance mental health, promote individual empowerment, and increase access to treatment and services for persons with mental illnesses.

Celebrating Recovery Event – Tuesday, October 5

Just a reminder that in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, MHAM is hosting the Celebrating Recovery education event on Tuesday, October 5 at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. We would love to see you there! If you register before October 5, admission is $15. At the door admission is $20. Your admission includes presentations, a Wellness Fair, a Steps To Wellness self-care kit, and lunch.

This will be a great event for individuals living with mental illnesses, their family members and friends, and mental health providers. Michael Trangle, MD will speak about holistic care and staying healthy and Minnesota 10 x 10 and the DIAMOND program. Kim Lutes will share her experiences with the mental health system and the importance of self-advocacy. Brain Doran will discuss ways in which family members and friends can support a loved one who is living with a mental illness. Brett Dumke will provide an overview of the brand new Steps to Wellness self-care kits. Ed Eide will give examples of how individuals can share their stories to influence public policy.

The Steps to Wellness kits have been developed with support from an educational grant from Lilly USA, LLC, a charitable contribution from Janssen, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc., a grant from Park Nicollet Foundation Healthy Community, and a grant from Pfizer Healthcare. The kits contain tools to help individuals manage their health and learn skills to advocate for themselves when working with medical professionals and social service providers. After the event, the kits will be available for order from the MHAM website.

Tickets to this event are still available. Please see the Celebrating Recovery page on our website to register online. Scholarships are available. To arrange for a scholarship, please contact Ed Eide at 612-843-4868, ext. 1 or edeide at mentalhealthmn.org.

Wellness at Your Fingertips

The Facing Us Clubhouse, a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), is a free online wellness tool for individuals living with mood disorders. The website offers a variety of tools and resources to help support and maintain a person’s health and well-being. These include:

  • Personal online journal where you can write down your daily reflections, do some creative writing or gratitude practice, or other forms of expression.
  • A step-by-step individualized wellness plan that helps you take control of your health and well-being.
  • Personal wellness book where you can collect and write down tips and advice that work for you, read tips from others, and if you like, share them with family and friends.
  • Media room that includes audio and video material to uplift your spirit.
  • Creativity center that has online workshops and podcasts to help you be inspired and find your creative outlet.
  • DBSA Wellness tracker can help you chart your daily life by spotting trends related to your mood, symptoms, life style and physical health.
  • You can even send an e-postcard to somebody you care about!

Incorporating wellness into your life is just a click away!