We’ve noticed that people look forward to spring for the simple fact that things return. The snow, ice, and cold let up gradually. Birds come back—we always look forward to spotting the season’s first cardinal (we love what cardinals represent in nature) and the dark, damp earth gives way to renewed sprouts, buds, and growth. Trees regain their canopies. People are back out in their yards, kids are on bikes, and firepits start to burn again. There’s a lot of beauty and hope that comes with the spring season.
There are also many similarities to the grieving process. Eventually, the dark, endless days lessen. The cold, barren landscape of pain and sadness sees splashes of green and regrowth in time. Spirits lift as the sun continues its climb in the sky, earlier each day. Everything has its season, including grief.
Look for the sunshine, it always rises. (and be on the lookout for those cardinals, too!)
Reyne & Scott Roeder
Make It OK Campaign
CentraCare is partnering with the Greater St. Cloud Community to normalize talking about mental health in the workplace. The Make It OK anti-stigma campaign was created to encourage individuals to talk more openly about mental illnesses. By breaking the silence, we can help our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and colleagues feel understood and supported.
Mental illnesses are a touchy subject, creating voids in conversation. Here are some tips to help you.
Stop the silence. If someone shares with you that they’re experiencing a mental illness, they are opening up to you in a big way. Ask questions, show concern, and avoid awkward silences.
Be nice. It sounds simple enough, but try to say the right things with openness, warmth, and caring.
Listen. In your conversation, try to do more listening and less searching for a solution.
Keep in contact. Offer to be available by phone, text, email, or meet up in person. Just be there.
Don’t ignore it. Don’t be afraid to ask about someone’s well-being if you think they might be hurting. Trust your judgment.
Offer support. Everyone is different and may want very specific help or no help at all. Either way, ask and be open to the answer.
The silence stops now. Share the message and tips with your family, friends, church, schools, and more.
If you are looking for support right now, please call:
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Teen Crisis Line: 310-855-4673
Together CentraCare and the Greater St. Cloud Community can Make It OK to talk about our mental health. We look forward to making a difference here—and in our communities—this year.
While stress management should be a topic we address in our daily lives, there’s a dedicated day to its awareness, April 16th.
Why April 16th? The day after the national tax deadline. The day became an official recognition to remind us all to take a deep breath and take stock of our stress levels. This year’s National Stress Awareness Day falls on a Friday, we encourage you to kick off the entire weekend by dedicating intention to dealing with whatever stress you’re plagued with. Taking a breather once in a while is the best thing you can do for your overall health, say experts.
Stress hurts. Studies show severe stress has a direct correlation to heart disease, depression, and weakening the immune system.
What combats stress?
Clean eating—eat a well-balanced diet to fuel your body to fight off stress and other unpleasant emotions.
Movement—release powerful endorphins that flood your system with feel-good energy. Even stretching, yoga, and walking count as movement.
Practice relaxation—humans are hard-wired to be constantly “on” and forcing ourselves to take stock of how we spend our days is critical to stress management. Add morning and evening relaxation periods to your day.
Seek connection—lean into those around you that you count on to support and love you. Share your feelings of stress and ask them to simply show up and be near.
With retirement fully underway, Scott has more time to devote to advocacy and sharing the purpose and mission of Jackson’s memorial fund.
April looks to be both busy and promising in terms of awareness and connecting on behalf of mental health and suicide prevention. Our advocacy has a regular cadence of monthly and quarterly meetings which includes being on the Minnesota NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Legislative Committee, membership within the Minnesota State Suicide Prevention Task Force and Co-Chair of Intervention Committee, an AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Field Advocate, member of Central Minnesota United Way’s Mental Health Committee, and we lead the Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund to honor our son.
April 13th Scott & Reyne are the guest speakers at St. Cloud Optimist Club (via Zoom) to share their story and advocacy for mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
The AFSP Minnesota Day at the Capitol: April 19th from 5:30 to 6:30. The event is designed to grant advocates the opportunity to meet with legislators on policy issues that need support. Personal connections between advocates and lawmakers mean state bills are enacted that require suicide prevention policies and personnel training in K-12 schools, increase suicide prevention on college and university campuses, require insurance plans to treat mental health and physical health equally, and create statewide suicide prevention offices and task forces. Join us by registering here.
The LPN Conference in Hutchinson: April 20th Together with Lisa Bershock of CentraCare, Scott will be presenting in person on mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
Central Minnesota Clergy: April 23rd Scott, Bishop John Dolan, and Deacon Ed Shoener will be presenting to the Central Minnesota Catholic Clergy on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Bishop John and Deacon Ed are the authors of the books “When a Loved One Dies by Suicide” “Comfort, Hope, & Healing for Grieving Catholics”, and “Responding to Suicide: A Pastoral Handbook for Catholic Leaders”. Father Joe Herzing from Christ Church Newman Center is coordinating the afternoon conference.
Resources & Can't-Miss:
Standing Up to the Stigma
Interview with Olympian Michael Phelps on mental health and the impact those in the spotlight can have on advancing the narrative.
The Outside Perspective on Mental Health
Blog from Lumino Health on the benefits of reconnecting with the outdoors as ways to boost mental health and relieve stress.
How to Reach Out
Podcast from NPR on the signs someone might be contemplating suicide and what you can do to help.
Walk With Us @ Let the Sun Shine Run
Event benefitting suicide prevention. We’re kicking off the walk at 9:30am and wearing orchid-colored t-shirts. Join us for a great cause!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or text “MN” to 741-741