April 2022 News!
We’ve shared the sentiment of time and seasons in newsletters past, yet we find ourselves marveling once again that it’s April and a new season is firmly in place. Each month offers another way to stay connected to the cause that helps us honor and memorialize Jackson. There are several ways people like you can help further support both mental health and suicide prevention, and we felt compelled to share some of those ways below.
Everything is significant, even joining a 5k race or sharing a post on social media. For further impact, lobbying at the legislative level can help our efforts reach the desks and voices of those who can help us advocate for necessary change to help us protect those who need and deserve it most.
Enjoy the season ahead of us.
All our best,
Reyne & Scott Roeder
Let the Sun Shine Run
On Saturday, April 23rd, the 12th annual Let the Sun Shine Run will be hosted in Cold Spring. We have been part of this event each year since we lost Jackson as we align with the family behind the event, the Robbins family, who lost their son Jonathon by suicide in 2010. He was 22 years old.
As we’ve learned, doing something proactive and productive with grief can help when everything else feels wrong or out of place. The efforts of the Let the Sun Shine Run are large and attract over 1,000 people each year, many who participate out of honor and love for those they too have lost. A unique aspect of this event is the Memory Signs that adorn the race route. Each year, we’ve added a sign for Jackson and assemble a team to walk in his honor and memory.
Register for the Let the Sun Shine Run event here!
A large and important part of what we do on behalf of the Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund is advocacy. What does that mean, exactly? It means advancing the narrative on mental health and suicide prevention at the legislative level to ensure our efforts have a facilitating environment for the desired changes to occur.
Legislative advocacy utilizes a three-legged stool analogy. One leg represents the professional lobbyist whose main concern is to raise issues and advocate for attention with appropriate legislators. The second leg is representative of the specific legislation itself, the affirmative action for change within mental health. The third leg is that of grassroots efforts where concerned parties and individuals (like us, on behalf of this organization) work to develop and foster relationships with legislators or members of Congress who ultimately can advance and influence the issue at hand.
An example of collaboration regarding legislative lobbying can be seen through NAMI—the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI’s grassroots advocates have helped pass federal parity laws and mental health reform, expanded coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and successfully fought back attempts to end patient protections.
Find your Minnesota representatives here.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Since 1987, April has been designated as Alcohol Awareness Month by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). The aim is to raise awareness and increase understanding of causes and corresponding treatment available for one of the nation’s biggest health issues.
As with mental health and suicide prevention, this particular campaign also aims to reduce the social stigma associated with alcoholism. Many resources exist that can educate people on alcoholism as a disease. It offers help and advice for families as well as direct engagement with those afflicted with alcohol addiction.
For many individuals experiencing mental health challenges, those challenges are made even more difficult by the presence of alcohol or substance abuse, with data suggesting that one-third of individuals managing alcohol abuse also experience mental health illness.
A dual diagnosis involves a mental health disorder and substance abuse problem that occurs simultaneously. For example, someone with depression is more likely to consume alcohol in an effort to self-medicate or mitigate symptoms of irritability, insomnia, and general feelings of helplessness or despair. Research also shows that drinking can exacerbate the symptoms of a mental illness.
To learn more about resources and ongoing support of alcohol use disorders, visit the CDC’s Chronic Disease Prevention.
Resources & Can't-Miss:
Innovation in Mental Health & Addiction Care
Article from the St. Cloud Times featuring CentraCare and Fairview Health Services CEOs discussing the ongoing efforts of traditional medical services for those seeking and requiring mental health support.
Strides Against Stigma 5k & Family Fun Run
Race from The Beautiful Mind Project with all proceeds going towards programs for adolescents and families that provides free counseling, group events, and peer support. Saturday, May 21st at 8am at SCSU’s National Hockey Center. Register here!
Military Mental Health Coalition
Weekend conference at Camp Ripley highlighting the overall health and wellness of military-connected members of the community (Veterans, active-duty, National Guard, Reserves, and family members) by raising awareness of challenges, existing resources, and bridging the civilian-military divide. May 5th and 6th.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or text “MN” to 741-741