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May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Stronger together in hope for change

Each May we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month as a great opportunity for the community to discuss and acknowledge the importance of mental health and wellness. It’s now more important than ever to connect with each other to overcome the isolation of COVID-19, continue to improve understanding of mental illness and promote access to services. We are stronger together, despite being physically separated.

Check out the resources below for ways to engage in and spread the word about Mental Health Awareness Month. You will find virtual activities to attend, materials to post on social media, and links to mental health resources.

Mental Health Month calendar of events

Monday, May 3, 12:15-1:15 p.m.

In Our Own Voice

This event will begin with a 15-minute land acknowledgment and centering led by Healer Elder June Blue, followed by an In Our Own Voice speaker. In Our Own Voice is a unique public education program where trained speakers share compelling personal stories about living with a mental illness and achieving recovery, demonstrating that there is hope for recovery for people with mental illnesses. The presentation includes personal stories and video clips, as well as offering an opportunity to ask questions. The IOOV program has touched many lives and is effective in reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

Thursday, May 6, 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Creating Healthy Routines That Support Well-being 

This event will begin with a 15-minute healing centering led by Healer Chamath.

How do we create healthy routines and re-energize ourselves as we live and work in isolation? What can we learn from the field of mental well-being that supports our self-care during this pandemic? Explore the answers to these questions and strategies that work for you. University of Minnesota Extension's Cari Michaels and Chelsea Williams will help participants examine different ways to think about mental well-being and explore self-care struggles and successes.

Monday, May 10, 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Promoting Culturally Appropriate Resources That Support Mental Well-being

Lidiya Girma and Kari Umanzor will present on the work of Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul to offer Healing Circles for community residents and employees during April and May 2021. Join and learn about how healing circles offer opportunities to learn self-care and healing practices. These circles can help address the trauma caused by COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd last summer and civil unrest that followed, and the killing of Daunte Wright.

Thursday, May 13, Noon-1:15 p.m. 

Shifting the Conversation About Mental Illness with Cultural Perspective

A spotlight has been placed on strengthening and fostering cross-cultural, inter-generational, and culturally-specific healing practices duringCOVID-19 and civil unrest. Join Shirlynn LaChapelle and Dr. Richard Oni on how they continue to create opportunities for community to engage and reconnect with their cultural roots through practices and leanings, and tools that support resilience.

Monday, May 17, 10-11 p.m. 

Mental Health Crisis Response Overview

The mental health and substance use crisis system in the East Metro works to support and provide services for individuals in crisis, through a collaborative network of community-based organizations, public safety agencies and hospital providers. The East Metro Alliance will walk presentation attendees through the system can be confusing and challenging to navigate.

Tuesday, May 18, 4-5 p.m. 

Mental Health Crisis Response Overview

The mental health and substance use crisis system in the East Metro works to support and provide services for individuals in crisis, through a collaborative network of community-based organizations, public safety agencies and hospital providers. The East Metro Alliance will walk presentation attendees through the system can be confusing and challenging to navigate.

Wednesday, May 19, 4-6 p.m. 

Understanding Crisis Intervention and How to Access Support

Join the Ramsey County Adult & Children’s Crisis Stabilization team to learn about child & adult crisis assessment, embedded crisis social workers, co-responses, crisis stabilization and peer support. This event will include breakout rooms where attendees can talk in small groups with crisis team members and a large group question & answer session.

Thursday, May 20, 10 a.m.-Noon

Understanding Crisis Intervention and How to Access Support

Join the Ramsey County Adult & Children’s Crisis Stabilization team to learn about child & adult crisis assessment, embedded crisis social workers, co-responses, crisis stabilization and peer support. This event will include breakout rooms where attendees can talk in small groups with crisis team members and a large group question & answer session.

Tuesday, May 25, 1-2 p.m.

Getting to Know the Ramsey County Mental Health Center

There are various services offered at the Ramsey County Mental Health Center. This presentation will give an overview of support that can be provided to individuals with mental and/or chemical health needs.

Thursday, May 27, 10-11 a.m.

Mental Health Support for Thriving in the Time of COVID-19: Addressing burnout and stress in difficult times

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of several people. Thomas T Nguyen, PsyD, LP will provide a space to learn how to cope and take care of ourselves as we continue to navigate this pandemic.

Green Ribbon Activities

Show Your Support for Mental Health Awareness with Your Lime Green Champion

This year's May Is Mental Health Awareness Month theme is "Hope for Change." The activities and messages ground us in the moment, allow us to reflect on the growth we have experienced, and empower us to face change in the future with hope as our guiding principle. The past year has undoubtedly brought unanticipated changes for us as individuals, families, and communities--leaving us to face these challenges and transform. Change is not always planned but growth can be powerful and empowering. It can also be uncomfortable. "Hope for Change" reminds us to continue to develop and rely on the hope that carried us through a year of change. These activities follow physical distancing guidelines and are built off the past year that changed many of our self-care activities.

Here are a few of the many ways you can use a green ribbon to raise awareness, reduce stigma and celebrate May Is Mental Health Month.

How you can participate:

  • Print a green ribbon (PDF) and place in a window, on a door or in your yard where visible to others.
  • Print a green ribbon and write your mental health champion why their important to you. Take a photo and share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Be as creative as you want! #HopeForChangeRC
  • Complete the following sentence and post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: "It's Up to Us to end the stigma around mental illness because......" #HopeForChangeRC #RamseyCounty

Note: Posts will be highlighted locally throughout the month of May in support of May Is Mental Health Awareness Month. Post privacy settings must be set to "PUBLIC" in order for your photo and caption to be seen by others.

Adopted by Each Mind Matters https://www.eachmindmatters.org/

Ramsey County Mental Health resources

Other resources available

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 9:10 a.m.