Mental Well-Being and Resilience Learning Community
Last Tuesday of each month - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Minnesota Department of Health leads a monthly learning opportunity for anyone who is interested in building resilience and promoting mental well-being.
Learn: About effective well-being strategies and practical implementation steps from communities across Minnesota.
Dream: About creating thriving communities, families and youth.
Plan: Community and state action plans. Develop opportunities to partner with people in your community who are interested mental well-being and resilience.
Details: This is an interactive monthly statewide webinar and local discussion. Each location has a host who can access and broadcast the webinar. Webinar links are only provided to hosts. Registration link identifies locations near you.
Webinars profile innovative strategies to promote mental well-being and resilience, emphasizing community-based and community-driven initiatives. Gatherings will include practice discussions, sharing similar efforts in your location, relevant research or resources, networking, and planning next steps.
Monthly Registration: https://survey.vovici.com/se/56206EE33B6386B6
Learning Community Resources:
- Overview (PDF)
- Purpose and Vision (PDF)
- Monthly Discussion Questions (PDF)
- Learning Community Brochure (PDF)
- Join Basecamp (PDF) - New
- Join in the monthly Open Forum (PDF) - New
- Local Hosts Contact Information (PDF) - New
Giving Voice to Well-Being: Building Choral Communities of Joy
Mary Lenard, Co-Founder & Executive Director Giving Voice Initiative
Eyleen Braaten, Director of Community Engagement Giving Voice Initiative
In 2018 the vast majority of older adults, no matter what their health status, care deeply about connection. Connection is a basic human need that is severely threatened by age and disability. The joy of singing together brings renewed purpose, learning, friendships, and connection to people living with Alzheimer's disease. The unique Giving Voice program is based on the emerging research that music is preserved in the brain not damaged by Alzheimer's. By singing together, Giving Voice changes the attitudes of care partners, family members, friends, and community members, bringing people with dementia out of the shadows through shared music making.
Giving Voice Initiative inspires and equips organizations to bring together people with Alzheimer's and their care partners to sing in choruses that foster joy, well-being, purpose and community understanding. Giving Voice Initiative believes that singing together helps people with Alzheimer's Disease and their care partners strengthen connections to their community and live better lives.
Reducing Isolation and Promoting Connection Between New Immigrants and Minnesota Women
Erin Hart, Reconciliation Project
Shaymaa Jakjook, Women's Friendship Group Participant
Social isolation and connectedness is a national concern; it is particularly acute among new immigrants. Minnesota community members may want to support their newer neighbors but may struggle with how and where to begin. Learn about the Women’s Friendship group, a simple and profound experience that has supported and enriched the lives of everyone involved. Hear from two participants who will share their experiences with this group and how you could start something like this in your community. This project flows from the work of the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding relationships, cultural understanding and respect between the United States and Iraq, with a focus on the arts, cultural and professional exchange, and humanitarian projects.
The Quest for Resiliency: Moving from Stressed Out to Chill
Susan Nygaard, RN, BSN, PHN, Manager, Community Health Improvement, Allina Health (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Addressing stress and anxiety takes every tool and medium available. Change to Chill by Allina Health was created in response to an identified community need. The Change to Chill (CTC) website is free for all communities to use and is full of online resources that provide stress reduction skills, life balance techniques, mindfulness, resiliency, gratitude practice, deep breathing strategies and health education. CTC serves the greater community through work with teachers who use it in their classrooms, counselors who integrate it into their work with youth, teens who use it individually, in school and as part of social groups, and parents who are looking for ways to help their children stress less. CTC provides an easy way for teens to talk about stress and identify ways to manage it so they can thrive. Change to Chill is widely implemented in communities across Minnesota, including the launch of Change to Chill School Partnership earlier this month. Learn about ways to add these resources to your community tool-box.
Gay Straight Alliance: A Critical Community Resource for LGBTQ Mental Well-Being
Joseph Rand, M.Ed, Extension Educator, Youth Development University of Minnesota Extension (he/him/his)
Blaine Kelley, Youth & Schools Coordinator OutFront Minnesota (he/him/his)
Disparities in mental well-being among LGBT youth in Minnesota are profound. LGBT youth living in rural areas have very few safe spaces for real interaction and self-identification. This makes their journey through sexual identification and "coming out" to family, friends and community more difficult.
Learn about how a partnership with youth and a local Gay Straight Alliance helped to identify, document and showcase the experiences of rural Minnesota LGBT youth using video and other creative outlets. Understand the National and State statistics to provide context for a deeper understanding about rural Minnesota LGBT youth and their involvement in a GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance), and consider opportunities for how your community can provide safe spaces for youth programs and schools, especially rural communities. Learn about specific resources and tools through Outfront Minnesota to help you sponsor or support your local GSA.
Happiness: A Mental Health and Business Strategy
Strategic Focus: Happiness Practice
Nancy O'Brient, Co-founder Experience Happiness
Linda Saggau, Co-founder Experience Happiness
Guest Speaker: Sara Rose, Hennepin Healthcare/Hennepin County Medical Center
Research has proven that happy employees are more productive, receive higher performance ratings, enjoy more job security and are less likely to take sick days or quit. While today's innovative leaders understand the strategic importance of promoting workforce wellbeing and happiness, accomplishing this goal is more challenging than ever due to the unprecedented levels of unhealthy stress and burnout impacting the personal and professional lives of their employees every day.
Linda Saggau and Nancy O'Brien are the co-founders of Experience Happiness, an organization dedicated to helping people and organizations thrive through happiness. In this presentation they will share their happiness research insights and The Happiness Practice (THP) case study at Hennepin Healthcare that demonstrates how THP helps people reduce burnout and its negative physical, emotional and behavioral effects while increasing happiness and it's many positive byproducts, including resiliency, innovation, sustainability, and performance. For more information visit www.experiencehappiness.biz
One Garden at a Time: Creating Healthy Environments and Community
Strategic Focus: Environment
Melvin Giles, Peacemaker and Co-coordinator for Urban Farm and Garden Alliance
Megan Phinney, Master Gardener/Land Connector and Co-coordinator for Urban Farm and Garden Alliance
Kiersti (KP) Phenow, LSW and Urban Farmer
The Urban Farm and Garden Alliance is a collaboration of eight community gardens and backyard box gardeners in the Rondo/ Frogtown Neighborhoods of St. Paul. In 2017, through a small grant from Ramsey County Public Health, the St. Paul coalition launched a pilot program, Grow Rx, in partnership with Open Cities, a local clinic. Through Grow Rx, health care providers prescribe gardening to support their patient's mental and physical health. Individuals and families with a Garden Prescription get resources to begin their gardening and healing experience; including seeds, plants, tools, and direct connections to others in the neighborhood gardening community. The Urban Farm and Garden Alliance and Grow Rx is designed to build and support community, healthy food production, green space, neighborhood safety, social connectedness, outdoor play for children, physical activity, cultural and recreational events, and mental health and well-being. Access to green space has been linked to reduced rates of mortality, depression, anxiety, PTSD and other chronic disease. Research with children and youth highlight that access to nature and green space is a natural buffer for adversity and stress, it improves attention, concentration, well-being and resiliency.
Enhancing Trauma-Sensitive and Compassionate Practices in Schools
Strategic Focus: Trauma, Skills and Policy
Sharleen Zeman-Sperle, M. Ed, SEL Specialist
Stacy Bender-Fayette, M. Ed, SEL Specialist
Peacemaker Resources, a nonprofit organization based in Bemidji, MN, has experienced success in helping school staff become more aware of the effects of toxic stress on the brain and offers strategies to help students become better able to learn and be successful. Two Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialists will share how adverse childhood experiences workshops paired with teaching and modeling SEL lessons in elementary schools across northern Minnesota has positively influenced students, teachers and schools. Learn about our successful journey to expand school-based social and emotional health initiatives from 20 classrooms (in 2016-17) to 121 classrooms (in 2017-18), and how we established new sustainable partnerships and resources across systems.
Building Mentoring Relationships throughout Minnesota
Strategic Focus: Relationships
Carolyn Scherer, MSW
Director of Program Services
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees that young people have someone who cares about them, assures that they are not alone in dealing with daily challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality-mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet, one in three young people grow up without this critical asset. To close this gap, it will take everyone from parents, students and teachers to counselors, coaches and family friends — anyone who has a touch point in a young person's life.
MENTOR Minnesota serves a network of over 200 youth mentoring programs in Minnesota through its mission to build and elevate the capacity of programs, systems and policies to strengthen youth mentoring relationships. Since 2010, MENTOR Minnesota has conducted the Quality Mentoring Assessment Path (now known as the National Quality Mentoring System) to assess program quality with 145 programs across the state. During this session, we will provide an overview of why mentoring matters, discuss the various forms that mentoring takes, highlight unique mentoring approaches in Minnesota, and offer suggestions on how you can help expand the mentoring movement in your local community.
Building Community Coalitions for Resilience
Strategic Focus: Community Capacity
- Pam Beckering MS, LPCC Adverse Childhood Experiences Coordinator; Centra Care Health
- Roger Green Chair of the Woodbury Thrives Leadership Team
- Mary Sue Hansen, Suburban Ramsey Family Service Collaborative Coordinator
- Julie Hatch, Olmstead County SHIP Coordinator
Community capacity is the ability to solve collective problems through the interaction of individuals and organizations in a community. Building community capacity requires a broad set of partners to communicate, collaborative, advocate, collect and use data, and implement strategies that are effective for the community. Ultimate community goals may include implementation of programs, shifts in organizational practice, and implementation of new state or local policies. However, getting to collective action—the progress along the way towards change—is also critical, including tangible and intangible elements such as creating: a common language, common agenda, common measures, mutually reinforcing activities, and changes in perception.
Learn from four communities in various phases of community capacity building about their strategies and practices. Learn about how the coalition started, is sustained, key models or practices, engaging citizens, funding mechanisms, engaging across sectors, and their greatest achievements.
Creating Family Friendly Jail Visitation Spaces
Strategic Focus: Trauma and Policy
Rebecca J. Shlafer, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota
On any given day, it is estimated that more than 16,000 Minnesota children have a parent in prison; thousands more have a parent incarcerated in a local jail. Parental incarceration is a powerful adverse childhood experience; recent evidence suggests that 1 in 6 Minnesota youth reports a history of parental incarceration. Parent incarceration dramatically increases risks of poor school attendance, school discipline problems, lower grades, school disconnection, substance use, and mental health problems. Supporting the parent-child relationship is a key strategy for fostering resilience in children affected by incarceration.
Over the last several years, the Washington County Jail and the Minnesota Correctional Facility Shakopee, have partnered with Dr. Rebecca Shlafer, from University of Minnesota's Department of Pediatrics, to improve child visiting practices and environments. These partnerships resulted in both immediate zero-cost changes and identification of necessary long-term policy changes, such as child-preferred visiting hours at the Washington County Jail. Changes are designed to strengthen and maintain the parent-child relationship, which is critical for healthy child development.
Building Capacity in 2018
As a leader in your community or organization, please join us for an important discussion to move the Mental Well-Being Learning Community to the next level in 2018. In 2017 we learned about 7 different initiatives happening in Minnesota to build mental well-being and resilience. Let's talk about what's next!
- REFLECT - on lessons learned from 2017
- LEARN - about local community actions prompted by the learning community
- KNOW - about upcoming state and local opportunities
- PLAN - direction and next steps for the learning community and your community.
Your contribution is important to create a more powerful Learning Community in 2018.
From Hollering to Healing: Using Community Coaches to Address Trauma
Strategic Focus: Addressing Trauma and Building Community Capacity
Dr. Joi Lewis, Founder and CEO of Joi Unlimited Coaching & Consulting and the Orange Method
At Joi Unlimited, we aim to serve the 58% of Americans suffering from trauma and mental health issues who are not currently being served by the system. We are doing this through the Joi of Healing, a platform and program that encompasses the OM Community Coaching Program in Healing Justice. We train community coaches from diverse backgrounds to address contemporary and historic trauma and oppression using the Orange Method ( OM ) of healing justice and radical self-care. The Orange Method is a social justice based approach to meditation, mindfulness, conscious movement, and emotional liberation. Through the Joi of Healing platform and program, communities are able to make a greater impact on those from racially and historically marginalized groups and provide access to trained, culturally relevant community coaches. Our first cohort, supported by the Catalyst Initiative of the George Family Foundation, completed the program in May 2017.
For more information about this cohort, refer to Joi Unlimited's announcement. We are now on a mission to scale this program throughout Minnesota, the rest of the United States, and eventually internationally. Dr. Joi will share about the program and how you can bring this resource to your community. Our vision is to create jobs and strengthen community resilience in order to eliminate these disparities. We are on a mission to "put healing in the hands of anyone, anywhere." To learn more about Joi Unlimited's work in communities, view our video: Joi of Healing: Communities & Healing
Gathering of Native Americans Process: Wellness and Strength Based on Actions
Strategic Focus: Culturally based practices for individual, community and institutional change skills
CoCo Villaluz, Consultant
Lori New Breast (Amskapikuni/Blackfeet), Consultant, American Indian Mentorship Initiative Clearway Minnesota
Gathering of Native Americans (GONA) is a mobilizing experience used to address social challenges in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. GONA is a process that supports cultural safety, health, wellness to and community healing, which includes addressing the impacts of trauma and cultural practices as strategies for individual and community wellbeing. The "Keep Tobacco Sacred" GONA experience focused on cultural systems of knowledge and the "Two Tobacco Ways Principle" about the original indigenous healing traditions of tobacco given by the Creator governed by sacred protocols and the commercial tobacco introduced as an agent of change in the historical trauma period beginning in 1492. GONA provides a culturally organized environment to address root sources of trauma such as suicide, gang violence, mental health and nicotine addictions as well as other topics. The GONA curriculum was originally designed as a prevention intervention to alcohol, tobacco and other drug occurrences by SAMSHA (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and has been used throughout the United States and other indigenous international communities. GONA is for Native Americans and others who want to create change.
Red River Resilience: Expanding Community-Wide Understanding about Resilience
Strategic Focus: Expanding understanding about what creates mental health
Ellie McCann, MS, CFLE Associate Professor, Family Resiliency Center for Family Development, University of Minnesota Extension
Mark Ellingson, Board Certified Chaplain, Altru Health System
In the wake of a record-setting flood that threatened the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2009, government and non-government disaster response agencies joined forces to enhance community capacity for resilience to future flood threats. Red River Resilience was born and developed a simple, clear, and consistent message based on resilience theory. Partner agencies have been spreading this message and tools ever since. The FACTS of Resilience message was developed by Red River Resilience (RRR) members and shared throughout the community using multiple methods to build individual resilience. Since the flooding has subsided, RRR members have share The FACTS of Resilience message with a variety of family groups that are in transition. Learn about these efforts to see how it may apply to your work and community. http://www.redriverresilience.com/
The Bounce Back Project - Building Individual and Institutional Resilience
Strategic Focus: Building Well-Being Skills
Dr. Corey Martin, Former Director of Clinical Services, Buffalo Hospital, 2017/18 Bush Fellow
The Bounce Back Project of Buffalo Hospital is a unique collaborative of physicians, nurses, hospital leaders, and staff who have come together for a single purpose - to impact the lives of individuals, communities, and organizations by promoting health through happiness. Bounce Back encourages the use of simple tools to help individuals to be happy. These tools include doing ‘random acts of kindness’ for others, writing down ‘three good things’ about each day and ‘writing gratitude notes’ to let others know you appreciate them or something they did. All of these activities can also increase social connections which we know is good for your mental and physical health and well-being. Since Bounce Back was launched just two years ago, we have reached thousands of people by partnering with a variety of community groups and businesses to teach people about these techniques and provide any needed ideas or resources. www.bouncebackproject.org
St. Paul Youth Services' YouthPower organizing hub
Strategic Focus: Youth Centered Policy Change
Dr. Tracine Asberry, Executive Director, St. Paul Youth Services
Youth of color are experts on their lives, needs, and the injustices they face, but too rarely at the table in developing strategies for racial equity. The Youth Power initiative is built on that premise: an organizing hub where youth of color can gather, reflect, express themselves, build skills, organize, and advocate for serious change on issues that affect their lives. Youth participants will be compensated and will experience an affirming curriculum of Healing & Identity, Exploration & Innovation, and Policy Change. Dr. Asberry will discuss St. Paul Youth Services YouthPower initiative and, along with a few participating youth, will share practices that all organizations can adopt - from outreach to program design to advocacy to evaluation - to measurably improve equity and outcomes for youth of color. www.spys.org/ Newsletter: http://mailchi.mp/b488a34b7933/summer-newsletter?e=06ffe2f1d2
Happy Hour: Promoting Positive Mental Well-Being
Strategic Focus: Building Skills and Relationships
Janet Lewis Muth, MPH, Director of Health Promotion, Carlton College
Happy Hour is a 10-session curriculum rooted in the science of positive psychology, designed to teach people the skills to flourish in home, community and work life. It was developed and piloted in Minnesota through the support of the Rice County Mental Health Collective, and continues to be supported by both Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges. Happy Hour series have been hosted in colleges, schools, and workplace settings in Northfield and Bemidji, MN. In a randomized, controlled study, participants in Happy Hour reported more positive emotions, fewer negative emotions, fewer depression symptoms and higher levels of both optimism and gratitude than the control group; these gains stayed in place five months after participating in Happy Hour. Participants also report appreciating the opportunity to practice skills and share the experience with others in a group setting.
Living Life to the Full, A Pilot Program in the Somali Community
Dr. Rebekah Pratt, University of Minnesota Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Living Life to the Full is an evidence-based, peer-delivered mental health intervention that has been broadly implemented in the UK, Australia, and Canada. It was piloted with Somali women in Minnesota. The intervention was well received, particularly because it was delivered by a fellow community member. Participants reported gaining skills in problem solving, stress reduction, and anger management. Participants also felt that the intervention helped to address some of the stigma around mental health in their community.