World Mental Health Day came and went last Saturday. I failed to post anything about it. But it is not because it’s not a subject that I care deeply about; quite the contrary. I’ve written about my own personal mental health challenges many times before. I’ve written about what it feels like to live daily with a mental illness. I’ve encouraged others to tell their stories too. I could name a more than a dozen of people just off the top of my head who I knew personally who have taken their own lives due to their own mental health struggles. Finally, my oldest child is currently under state civil commitment for her own mental health treatment as she was deemed a danger to herself and others. I could go on and on about how personally this affects me and the people I love…
For me and so many others, every day is mental health day in our worlds.
As you may (or may not) know, I serve as a board member for Mental Health Minnesota. I recently became the board President (an honor I accept with pride). The organization offers free and anonymous online mental health screenings, referrals to treatment and services, and peer support. As you can imagine, they’ve been busier than ever, with so many people facing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, and depression related to COVID-19 and so many other recent events. In just the last three months, nearly 7,000 people have taken online mental health screenings offered through their website. That’s more screenings in just three months than during the entire year of 2019. Two-thirds of those taking screenings are under the age of 24, and many are looking for help. Use of the other services offered by Mental Health Minnesota has also increased. The Mental Health Helpline, which provides information about treatment and services, has more than doubled. And the Minnesota Warmline, which provides peer support for people struggling with their mental health, has seen a record number of calls.
You may have heard me talk about this organization before, or maybe some of you local folks have been to our fundraising events in the past; especially our annual event at Surly Brewing held in honor of World Mental Health Day. This is our largest fundraising event of the year.
Unfortunately, fundraising events are off the table this year because (glances broadly at the state of the pandemic), so I’m asking you to help me raise a little money for them
In honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10, we are seeking at least 100 donors to give $25 (the cost of a ticket for the Surly event in the past) between October 10th and October 16th to support our work. I believe that World Mental Health Day should be about making sure everyone has a chance to get the help they need, when they need it. But, the truth is, those of us that live with mental illness need the help organizations like this provide every day. I hope you’ll join me in making a contribution that will help so many by donating here. And if you want to learn more about Mental Health Minnesota’s work, I hope you’ll visit their website at www.mentalhealthmn.org.