July is a month typically dedicated to independence and celebrating the freedoms that come with being American citizens.
But what does independence mean to those suffering from mental illness or recovering from addiction? What milestones or associated freedoms exist for the many afflicted by mental health challenges?
As ever, every person’s journey to survival and recovery looks different. The journey is hardly ever linear and it certainly doesn’t have a destination.
For those of us who love and support individuals on their own paths to health and wellbeing, we should be reminded that there is no finish line. Mental health doesn't discern how or who it affects nor does it have a timeline. What we can do is educate ourselves to learn more. Be a champion of support. Be patient. Be a source of sanctity and safety. Be empathetic. Be softer.
Reyne & Scott Roeder
Follow the Love
Jackson’s artwork is on the move! For the month of July, his collection is on display at the St. Cloud Hospital.
We appreciate the team at CentraCare and St. Cloud Hospital for granting Jackson’s work the visibility and light it deserves. We hope many people have stopped to admire the vibrant pieces in admiration. As ever, an original selection is available for purchase on our website with all proceeds benefitting the Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund.
National Minority Mental Health Month
July is Minority Mental Health Month, or more accurately, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, named after Campbell, an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.
Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender, or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. It is hoped that Minority Mental Health Awareness Month can start changing this.
Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage, and the stigma of mental illness requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma, and lower-quality care.
For 2021’s Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) will continue to amplify the message of “You Are Not Alone.” NAMI will use this time to focus on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health, and acknowledging that it’s OK to not be OK through blogs, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements, and national events.
Together, we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness—no matter their background, culture, ethnicity, or identity—can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives—a nation where no one feels alone in their struggle.
You can help spread the word about minority mental health through awareness, support, and advocacy activities. Share awareness information, images, and graphics throughout July and use the hashtags #NotAlone and #MMHAM when you’re posting on social media.
America’s entire mental health system needs improvement, including when it comes to serving marginalized communities.
To learn more about how you can get involved with minority mental health, visit NAMI.
Seize the Awkward—a New Kind of Ad Campaign
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in partnership with the Ad Council and The Jed Foundation introduces Seize the Awkward, a groundbreaking ad campaign. Featuring four new videos containing powerful advice for teens and young adults on mental health from Dr. Doreen Marshall, AFSP’s Vice President of Mission Engagement, and Dr. Wenimo Okoya from The Jed Foundation sharing practical tips on supporting a friend who may be struggling with their mental health.
Watch the first four videos—viewed nearly one million times since their release—by following this link.
Resources & Can't-Miss:
Mental Health Ministry & Responding to Suicide
Video featuring Scott, Bishop John Dolan, and Deacon Ed Schoener on behalf of Clergy Day for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.
Strange Catholics on Mental Health Awareness
Podcast from trio Strange Catholics featuring the Roeder family story and the topic of mental health.
Interpersonal & Institutional Discrimination
Research from Michigan State University on the disparities in mental health for the LGB Community.
988: Suicide Prevention Hotline
Story sharing how starting in mid-2022, people will be able to dial 988 instead of 911 to access different types of services in a mental health crisis.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or text “MN” to 741-741