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Category : Mental Health

6 Things to Know About Veterans’ Behavioral Health Needs in Minnesota
Nora Johnson​Last year, in response to reported gaps in the Veteran mental and behavioral health system, the Minnesota Legislature commissioned a needs assessment of Veterans in Minnesota. Wilder Research worked with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) to conduct such an assessment. We looked at existing data, interviewed providers, and surveyed nearly 1,000 Minnesota Veterans to identify mental and behavioral health needs, the resources available to them, and the opportunities to address any unmet needs of this population. Here are six takeaways from that assessment: Many Veterans are accessing the supports they need. Overall, 77 percent of Minnesota Veteran survey respondents reported feeling they have the support they need, including those who have received services in the last two years (24%) and those that have not (53%)....
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Providing Emotional Support to Children After a Disaster
Children play with a parachute at Camp Noah.Recent hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, and Maria have presented stark images of the terrible damage that can come from natural disasters. These disasters are often followed by a national outpouring of much-needed resources and support, to help those impacted meet their immediate needs for food, drinking water, safe shelter, and other necessities. While these resources are clearly essential, another aspect of disaster recovery also warrants attention – the emotional well-being of the individuals, families, and communities. Experiencing a disaster first-hand can be extremely traumatic. Stress and anxiety can also result from hearing about losses experienced by others, the ongoing challenges of rebuilding homes and communities, and watching media coverage of these events. For some people, feelings of stress or anxiety may be mild and subside quickly, but for...
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Hello Fellows: Meet Shawn Schuette
​Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2017, Wilder awarded fellowships to six employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the most recent cohort of Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Shawn Schuette. What is your role at Wilder? I am a Senior Clinical Supervisor in Wilder’s school-based mental health program, and have been with Kofi for 9 years. Kofi is a culturally specific program serving African-American students in St. Paul Public Schools. School based staff work with clients individually, in group,...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet Kaw Kee Lah
Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the most recent cohort of Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Kaw Kee Lah. What is your role at Wilder? I’m a targeted case manager in Wilder’s adult mental health services. I help ensure that clients have access to health care and are able to go to appointments. I connect them to resources that they need for mental health and social relationships....
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​​Is Play Therapy Right for Your Child?
Johnny just started first grade this fall. Kindergarten went well, but so far this year, Johnny’s parents have received five calls home about Johnny being aggressive with other children, not following adult directions and not sitting still. When asked what is upsetting him, Johnny says “I don’t know” or “I was mad.” After struggling to help their son’s behavior, Johnny’s parents make the difficult decision to pursue therapy for him. Then comes another challenge: What kind of therapy? The number of options can feel overwhelming. In this blog post, I hope to make that decision easier by using Johnny as an example to provide information about experiential play therapy, a type of therapy that I practice in the Wilder Foundation's Community Mental Health and Wellness Services....
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​Hello Fellows: Meet Melanie Ferris
Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Melanie Ferris. What is your role at Wilder? My role as a research scientist in Wilder Research involves leading evaluation and research projects focused on community health and children’s mental health. Recently I’ve been working with hospitals and health care systems to conduct community health needs assessments. Another project I just finished involved looking...
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The Power of Group Healing: Acupuncture at the Center for Social Healing
​Traditional Roots Healthcare is a Minnesota-based acupuncture clinic dedicated to heal, strengthen and empower through traditional medicine. In addition to our primary clinic, Traditional Roots Healthcare offers offsite collaborative clinic partnerships to help increase access to our services and provide a culturally relevant, accessible, community approach to healing. Our partnership with the Wilder Foundation’s Center for Social Healing has provided us with a unique opportunity to provide acupuncture to four diverse groups of Southeast Asian communities. The Center for Social Healing is an intentional, therapeutic community designed to respond to barriers and unmet cultural and services needs of members of Southeast Asian communities. Through our work with the Center, we have provided acupuncture treatments to four groups (Vietnamese, Karen, Hmong, and Cambodian), as well as incorporating...
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​Hello, Fellows: Meet Evette Farley
Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In Hello, Fellows, we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Evette Farley. What is your role at Wilder? I am a Kofi therapist providing school-based mental health services and also in-home family therapy. We provide case management when needed and offer consultations with school staff about mental health.   For me, an example of what’s key to Kofi Services is our focus on...
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3 Ways to Use Speaking for Ourselves Data in Your Work
The recently completed Speaking for Ourselves study provides up-to-date data about the experiences of immigrants and refugees who live in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The community-wide assessment highlights the needs, strengths, and service gaps among Hmong, Karen, Latino, Liberian, and Somali populations. The study aims to provide information to change perceptions, improve public policies, and provide better services. I’ve outlined three ways you can use the data to help inform your work. These are just examples – the Speaking for Ourselves data and reports may be useful in any situation in which background or information is needed about one of the participating cultural communities. Example 1: Provide context A local news outlet is doing a story about behavioral health needs within the Karen community.   There are two...
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Helping Children Cope with a Scary World
Child watching television​Our world can be a scary place. As parents, we worry about our children growing up when wars, shootings, bombings and other horrific acts of violence seem to happen one after another. Frightening images stream across our TVs, computers and phones constantly. We wonder how to help kids feel safe and how to talk to them about their fears and confusion while we try to manage our own. Age, personality, developmental level and previous life experiences influence how children respond to terrifying events. Following are some common signs that a child may be struggling to cope with a frightening incident: Preschool-age Children Becoming unusually quiet or agitated; increased fear of being alone or being separated from parents/caregivers; fear of darkness and strangers; increased difficulty with changes and transitions;...
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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Phone: 651-280-2000
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