February 2023 News!
We find ourselves firmly in February. With this month comes the obvious theme of love so we thought we’d explore that notion in this newsletter.
Have you ever thought about how many times per day we use the word love? If you’re like us, it’s likely innumerous. We love a good sunrise, workout, passage, round of golf, song, favorite snack, the sweater or necklace our friend is wearing … you get the gist. It’s an easy, comfortable exclamation that conveys our joy, our excitement, and our pleasure in everyday life, big and small.
We are here to tell you that love is always a good thing. It promotes gratitude and encourages socializing. We are firm believers that love has gotten us through some pretty hard times.
Here’s to a soft, kind month full of all you love.
Reyne & Scott Roeder
Optimist Central MN Noon Club
The mission of Optimist Central MN Noon Club is to provide hope and positive vision to bring out the best in youth, the communities, and themselves. It’s rooted in the belief that the giving of one's self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life, and the world. The club donated $1,000 to Jackson’s fund so we too can continue to support the wellbeing of humankind through our efforts in suicide prevention and mental health.
Your generosity means so much. Thank you.
Mental Health: Is Love Enough?
5 Ways to Love Through Mental Health
Via Services for the Underserved | Sarah Griffith Lund, HuffPost
The stigma and shame surrounding mental illness takes a toll on family members, making it difficult to find support when someone you love has mental illness. It’s important for family members to break the silence about mental illness because as caregivers we can feel isolated and alone. Time, resources, and energy are often focused on our loved one’s mental health needs, leaving us wondering how to maintain a loving relationship.
Here are five ways we can love someone with mental illness (and still love ourselves):
1. Educate yourself about mental health diagnoses. Search NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for the most up-to-date information about mental illness. For resources on teens and mental health, click KidsHealth.
2. Encourage and model self-care and wellness. To function at our best we all need to exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. This is especially true for people with a mental illness. You can help by inviting your loved one to join you in healthy lifestyle choices. Try to avoid binge eating or drinking. Prevention, treatment and recovery from mental illness is possible with quality mental health care.
3. Be a safe person. Your loved one needs a safe person to talk to and trust. As a safe person, you affirm that the person is not defined by the illness. As a safe person you do what you need to do to ensure the safety of yourself and loved one. This means that you have a wellness plan in case of emergencies and will call 911 if you are concerned that your loved one is at risk for self-injury, suicide or harming others.
(People with mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence than to commit violence.) Help your loved one develop a Wellness Recovery Action Plan.
4. Do not love alone. Loving someone with a mental illness can be the most thrilling and terrifying rollercoaster ride of your life. Don’t ride it alone. Find other people to offer you support, encouragement, and guidance. You might benefit from professional counseling yourself or participating in a support group, or a prayer group. NAMI offers a Family-to-Family support network.
5. Know when to take a break. There are times when we cannot be that person. Caregivers need to take breaks before they burn out from emotional exhaustion. If you are feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and scared about your loved one’s mental illness and its impact on you, then it is time to re-evaluate the dynamics of the relationship. This is hard. Taking a break does not mean that you don’t love the person. It means you are taking a break. Getting some space and time away is healthy, creating time for self-reflection and exploration of the sacrifices you are willing to make for the sake of the relationship. Sometimes taking a break or time apart can help you gain perspective
Veteran Access to Mental Health Services Expands
As of January 17th, the VA will authorize veterans in suicidal crisis to be treated at a VA or non-VA health care facility at no cost to them. This announcement is further priority of ongoing initiatives to address veteran mental health and suicide prevention as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on the VA’s 10-year National Strategy for Preventing and Reducing Military and Veteran Suicide.
Data in the National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report released in September 2022 detail Veteran suicides decreased in 2020 for the second year in a row, and fewer Veterans died by suicide in 2020 than in any year since 2006. Progress.
Veterans in acute suicidal crisis will be able to go to any VA or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care at no cost—including inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days. Veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA system to use this benefit. This expansion of care is aimed at preventing Veteran suicide by guaranteeing no cost, world-class care in times of crisis. The hope also extends to increasing access to acute suicide care for up to 9 million Veterans who are not currently enrolled in VA services or care.
Specifically for emergency health care due to an immediate suicidal crisis
No cost to the Veteran and may include 30 days inpatient care and 90 days outpatient care
VA will provide, pay, or reimburse Veterans for emergency treatment
Veteran does not need to be enrolled in VA health care
Veterans must meet any of the follow eligibility criteria:
Served more than 24 months active service
Served more than 100 days under combat exclusion, or in support of a contingency operation
Former members of the armed forces who were the victim of a physical assault sexual in nature, battery of sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving
*(Dishonorable discharge is a disqualification)
For immediate Veteran crisis response, dial 988 and press 1.
Resources & Can't-Miss:
Changing the Narrative
Online Workshop designed to foster interactive, empowering conversation for those willing to change perceptions of mental health towards hope and resilience. February 23rd 9am-11am. Free registration.
Building Happier Humans
Story from Forbes on the ways we perceive social media use, constant access to the news, and let it interfere with our emotional regulation and mental health.
ASIST Training in Bemidji
Two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST) workshop offering skills, awareness, and know-how. Gain invaluable knowledge about suicide and the confidence to help save a life. March 9th and 10th, 8:30-4:30. Contact Jodi for info.
National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Call or text 988.