National Alliance On Mental Illness Educator Hosts Talk In Brainerd
For the last two years, Crow Wing Energized has been working to end the stigma of mental illness with their Make It OK campaign. In an effort to continue their work in educating the public, the group invited a speaker from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host two workshops in Brainerd.
According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four American adults experience an episode of mental illness each year and about half will face some sort of mental health challenge in their lifetime.
For the last two years, Crow Wing Energized together with their Mental Fitness Goal Group and the Make It OK campaign have been working to educate the public on mental illness. On Tuesday, they invited community educator Kay King to speak in Brainerd.
“Just having those conversations on a regular basis and just talking about it just like you would diabetes or the flu or anything else and just talking about those mental health disorders I think just helps break down that stigma,” said Nathan Bertram, a leader of the Mental Fitness Goal Group.
NAMI and Crow Wing Energized hosted two free sessions. The first detailed “Good Mental Health in the Workplace” and the second focused on “Creating Caring Communities.”
“We want to support people who are already working to be successful. We want to hire people that have great skills but maybe manage a mental illness just like they manage cancer or they manage heart disease or whatever they manage,” explained Kay King, a community educator with NAMI. “The last program really is a chance for people to think, how do we make our communities welcoming for people that live with mental illness? How do we get people who might have emerging symptoms connected to the care that they need?”
King hopes that if the attendees take away anything from the presentation, it’s that if you or anyone you know is struggling with a mental illness, there is hope.
“All of us have health or all of us have lack of health at times in our lives. We have so many resources for families, people who live with illness and people get better,” said King.
King’s stop in Brainerd was part of a northern tour that will end with a suicide prevention talk at the Saint Louis County Health and Human Services conference In Duluth.