Working to improve the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families
Over 600 people descended on the State Capitol on March 6 to urge legislators to support policies that will improve Minnesota’s mental health system. People traveled from all corners of the state to attend including Winona, Rochester, Willmar, Marshall, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, North Branch, Pine City, Baxter, Little Falls and St. Cloud. See MnPost article. Hear MPR news interview. See NAMI's Legislative Goals for 2014, here. Find NAMI's Legislative Action Guide, here. Locate your legislators, here.
Legislative leaders are beginning to set their budget priorities and they need to hear that investing in our state’s mental health system needs to be a priority. Contact the Governor’s office as well as House and Senate leadership this week and tell them we need to ensure there is enough money in the health and human services budget to invest in Minnesota’s mental health system this session! See Action Alert.
The deadline for the uninsured to sign up for MNsure without penalty is March 31. NAMI Minnesota is offering free presentations and individual assistance to help people learn about health insurance options, value of coverage, options under MNSure, MA expansion, changes to MNCare and the benefits to people living with mental illnesses. All plans under MNsure must provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and must follow mental health parity laws. There are no exclusions or waiting periods for individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Find meeting locations and information, here. For help with MNSure or if you have questions, contact NAMI at 651-645-2948. See Flyer
Stakeholder feedback helped shelve a proposal that would have limited choices on psychiatric medications under Medicaid Part D. The decision not to go forward with the proposal was announced March 10. Find story, here.
The Golden Valley City Council met Feb. 18, and rescinded its decision to block a mental health treatment center for children and consider further public dialogue. But this action was clearly superficial, since LifeSpan had already answered all the stipulations requested of them in order to get the permit and the council was now adding more requirements. None of the dissenting council members indicated they would change their vote even if the new conditions were met. As a result, LifeSpan decided on Feb. 24 to withdraw its permit request and look for a new site in a more welcoming area. This is a sad turn of events for Golden Valley which loses out on a valuable community resource. What is encouraging is that mental health advocates have been on hand throughout the process to stand up for children. See articles: Pulling the Plug on Golden Valley, MNPost 2-26-14, Golden Valley Officials Earn 'Black Eye', StarTribune 2-20-14, Golden Valley Council's Reversal is Teachable Moment, MNPost 2-19-14, and Fear & Hostility Block Treatment for Mentally Ill, StarTribune 2-16-14.
The MakeItOk presentation provides information about mental illnesses, combats stigma and offers helpful hints about how to talk about mental illnesses. To request a MakeItOk presentation in your community email email@example.com.
Winter 2014 Family-to-Family Education classes are now forming for family members who have a loved one living with a mental illness. Learn about mental illnesses, identify resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. Join others for this free, 12-week series taught by experienced family members. Over 3,000 Minnesota families have benefited from taking this class. For information or to register, contact the person listed in your area.
• Lakeville, Mar. 4, Tuesdays, 6:30-9:00, Joan at 612-205-7080
• Minneapolis, Mar. 5, Wednesdays, 6:00-8:30 p.m., Beth at 651-210-5530 or Rachel at 612-327-7275
• Rochester, Mar. 13, Thursdays, 6:00-8:30 p.m., Diana at 507-287-1692
QPR - Question, Persuade, and Refer - is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota and open to the public. QPR covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in more than 48 states. Find QPR and other classes,
NAMI Minnesota continues its efforts to improve public understanding of mental illnesses with its Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid classes, its Suicide Safety and Mental Illness in the Workplace workshops, In Our Own Voice presentations, and a new Speakers' Bureau. NAMI has also joined with HealthPartners in an effort to reduce myths and silence through its MakeItOk campaign. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 651-645-2948 or 1-888-626-4435, or schedule a program here.
Reframing Mental Illness is a podcast developed by Ruth Koscielak and NAMI Minnesota to raise awareness of mental illnesses and to promote dignity and hope. Topics include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, stigma, childhood trauma, parenting tools for military families, and more. Go to RuthToday.
TC Teens Find Help at their Doorsteps,
State Report Finds Deep Flaws in Care, StarTribune 3-3-14
LifeSpan Pulls Plug on Golden Valley Site, MNPost 2-26-14
Golden Valley Officials Earn 'Black Eye', StarTribune 2-20-14
Golden Valley Reversal is Teachable Moment, MNPost 2-19-14
Fear & Hostility Block Treatment, StarTribune 2-16-14
Golden Valley Rejects Plan to Treat Children, StarTribune 2-11-14
Soul Searching on Permit Denial, MinnPost 2-9-14
NAMI Challenges Golden Valley Permit Decision, YouTube 2-8-14
Golden Valley Decision Causes Controversy, MPR News 2-8-14
Golden Valley Votes Down Treatment Center, 12TVNews 2-7-14
Mentally Ill Often in Jails that Can't Help, MPR News 1-21-14
MN Security Hospital Staff in Crisis, StarTribune 12-27-13
Vigil for 147 Homeless People Who Died, TC DailyPlanet 12-20-13
Mental Stress Weighing on U Students, StarTribune12-17-13
Welcoming Patients with a Mental Illness, MNMedicine 10-13
Mental Illness has Many Factors, StarTribune 12-12-13
Mentally Ill Swamp Minnesota's Jails & Courts, StarTribune 12-11-13