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Category : Mental Health

Welcome to Minnesota’s Newest Mental Health First Aid Instructors
​Thousands of Minnesotans are faced with mental health concerns for the first time each year – personally, professionally, or both. Many feel ill-equipped to respond and don’t know where to turn for help. That’s where Mental Health First Aid brings knowledge, resources, and hope to communities. Thanks to leadership and support from the Department of Human Services, Wilder hosted an extensive training that welcomed twenty-eight social service professionals as Minnesota’s newest Mental Health First Aid instructors. What Is Mental Health First Aid? Mental Health First Aid is a training program created in 2008 by the National Council on Behavioral Health in response to the need for accessible, introductory information on responding to mental health concerns.   Over the course of an eight-hour training day, participants learn about risk...
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Top 10 Reasons Schools Should Have Youth Mental Health Services On-Site
Nearly 20 percent of youth in the United States experience a mental, emotional or behavioral health condition every year. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of those kids do not receive any kind of mental health services. The reasons are varied: Social stigma, high costs, lack of insurance, and school staff and parents who may lack recognition and awareness of symptoms. Without diagnosis and treatment, mental health conditions can affect a student’s performance in school and ability to learn and grow, but we can increase access to mental health treatment. What happens when schools provide youth mental health services and access to resources by serving children and adolescents where they already spend most of their day?  From our collective...
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Little Things Matter at Day Treatment
hope signFor a long time, sometimes for many years, parents of children in the Wilder Day Treatment program have faced the dilemma of whether to answer the phone when the school, child care or a service provider calls. As one parent shared with us: "Usually the calls are to say my child is in trouble – swearing, refusing to follow directions, hitting and kicking other kids or adults, destroying property. The next thing I am told is that he can’t stay there, that I need to come get him, and on top of that, he can’t come back for 1-3 days. I’ve lost jobs because of too many phone calls and too much missed work. I love my son, but what am I supposed to do? None of...
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The Family Feels the Impact of Addiction, Too
Nway Linn​Have you heard the saying that addiction is a “family disease”? Some may think that means addiction is genetic, something that runs in the family and is only passed along from generation to generation. And some may even think the chronic disease only affects the addicted. However, addiction is an illness that spreads to all family members, whether they are sober or not. Whether it is health, finances or relationships, the impact of addiction is felt and shared throughout the family. If I were to describe what addiction is, it would be similar to the 1958 film called “The Blob.” For those who are not familiar with “The Blob,” it starts as a small, jelly-like blob that is alive and sticks and holds on to...
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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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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Phone: 651-280-2000
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