Opportunities - April 2022

Opportunities - April 2022

Special events 

Mental health author series 

The Basilica of St,. Mary, Mpls., hosts a Mental Health Author Series, with an event at 3 p.m. Sat, April 30 in Teresa of Calcutta Hall. Deadline to register is April 14. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the book of their choice and can purchase other books at the event. Authors are former rep. Mindy Greiling, author of Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmaker’s Fight for Her Son; and Susan Foote, author of The Crusade for Forgotten Souls: Reforming Minnesota’s Mental Institutions, 1946-1954. They are joined by moderator Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota. Free. Registration required. FFI: 612-317-3508, jgrove@mary.org  

Conference 

Attend AuSM conference 

The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is holding a virtual conference, Inform, Influence, Innovate Together, April 21-24. It will feature dozens of livestream breakout sessions, virtual exhibit booths, an autism resources bookstore, and keynote speakers. Scholarship applications are available through the online registration form. 

The full line-up of speakers and sessions, is available online. FFI: www.ausm.org 

Employment 

Can I Get A Job If I Have A Mental Illness

One of the key steps in recovery from mental illness is a job, but the national unemployment rate for individuals receiving public mental health services is approximately 80 percent, according to a report issued by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2014. In Minnesota, unemployment for those living with a mental illness was 86 percent in 2014. Join NAMI Ramsey County and Ramsey County Library 6:30 p.m. Mon,  April 25, for a virtual, informative program about employment for people with mental illnesses. NAMI Ramsey County President Mindy Greiling will moderate. Panelists are Lisa Guetzkow, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions; Ramsey County Learn Program representative; Chad Bolstrom, Director of Vail Clubhouse Program; and Vail Clubhouse participant. Panelists will discuss various employment programs in Ramsey County and the Clubhouse employment model, which Ramsey County currently does not offer. They will describe where people should go to find employment, waiting lists, current funding levels, how families can help and much more. Audience questions are welcome. FFI: 651-724-6001, https://rclreads.bibliocommons.com/events/search/index/event/6219110f2a9b0c3600be27c7 

Children, youth and families 

Mental health for teens 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) hots a free class for teens ages 16-18 in Dakota County. Progression is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tues April 19 through May 24, at Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Parkway. Teens will learn from other teens and young adults how to maintain good mental health by recognizing early signs of returning symptoms, understanding how to deal with stress and anxiety, and teaching siblings, parents and friends how to help. 

The class is taught by a trained young adult and empowers individuals to take charge of their lives by providing education and information on mental illnesses, treatment options and the hope for recovery. It’s a safe space to talk to others who are going through similar experiences and to not feel alone. Masks and social distancing will be observed. Funding for this class is provided for by Dakota County. 

Registration is required. FFI: NAMI, 651-645-2948 or see “classes” at namimn.org.  

Design creative works 

The Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC) is seeking submissions of creative works from youth around the state of Minnesota for its fall conference. The council is interested in what youth have to say and wants to hear from them as the council strives to create a more independent living environment for individuals living with disabilities. Independent living is having opportunities to make decisions that affect one’s life, the ability to pursue activities of one’s own choosing – limited only in the same ways that one’s nondisabled neighbors are limited.

 The theme for creative works is “How can we change the world to make it a better place for people living with disabilities.” All works will be displayed at the fall conference as space allows, with selected winners’ work published on MNSILC platforms and featured in publications, Young people up to 24 years old can enter. Submissions are due June 30. Submissions can be photos, artwork, videos, songs, music, poems or articles. Digital submission can be emailed to mnsilc1215@gmail.com. Physical submissions can be mailed to MNSILC, 13189 Gladiola Way, Apple Valley, MN  55124. FFI: 612 518 1497, mnsilc1215@gmail.com 

PACER workshops sampling 

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are online and livestreamed at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs 

Resolving Disputes Through the Special Education Process is 6-8 p.m. Tue, April 5. The webinar with Q&A is designed to help parents increase awareness of dispute resolution options in the special education process. the webinar is funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Education. 

Lunch & Learn : Apps to Support Social-Emotional Development is noon-1 p.m. Wed, April 6. The workshop will provide demonstrations of iPad apps that can be used with K-12 students to support social-emotional learning and skills. 

Tech for Teens Club : Intro to Coding & Video Games is 10-11:30 a.m. Sat, April 16. The virtual workshop introduces teens with disabilities to the fundamentals of coding through the use of MIT’s Scratch online software. Teens will create interactive games and stories while developing basic programming skills. This workshop is designed for students with basic computer skills, but no previous coding knowledge is required. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend. 

Tech for Girls Club : Earth Day: Cleaning an Ocean Oil Spill is 10-11 a.m. Sat, April 23. Ocean spills have far-reaching impacts. In honor of Earth Day, explore the impacts of oil spills and how scientists help the environment and animals recover. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org  

INFO & ASSISTANCE

Independent living

The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides classes and activities, currently in a virtual format. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St. Paul and most activities are there or start there. Check the website to see what and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for classes updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030  

Centers for independent living statewide 

Minnesota centers for independent living statewide have gone to a mix of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically centers offer an array of classes, training programs and other services tied to independent living. Centers that proving PCA, homemaker and other staffing for clients continue to do that in person. But most services aren’t provide at facilities. Facilities aren’t open to the public at all or on a limited basis, varying by center. Check with a local center before going in. FFI: www.macil.org/ 

Vision loss group offers activities 

Vision Loss Resources has a new audio activities line. To listen to the audio version of the calendar, call 612-235-3654. The calendar is also available on our website Services are offered virtually. Ask about virtual support groups, events, distance learning and no-contact grocery shopping and reading support. FFI: 612-843-3439, 612-871-2222, info@visionlossresources.org 

Online mental health support 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a variety of free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, as well as parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators, the support groups help individuals and families learn coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. The groups are specifically for those individuals suggested by the group’s title. For example, Family Support Group is only for family members and NAMI Connection is only for those who live with a mental illness and are over 18 years old, etc. Find a complete listing of group meetings and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on Support Groups. FFI:  https://namimn.org/support/nami-minnesota-support-groups/. 

Centers for independent living statewide 

Minnesota centers for independent living statewide have gone to a mix of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically centers offer an array of classes, training programs and other services tied to independent living. Centers that proving PCA, homemaker and other staffing for clients continue to do that in person. But most services aren’t provide at facilities. Facilities aren’t open to the public at all or on a limited basis, varying by center. Check with a local center before going in. FFI: www.macil.org/