Opportunities – February 2023

Events Attend research dinner National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral […]

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Attend research dinner

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences host the Annual Research Dinner Thu, Feb. 23, at Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast. The event will feature leading researchers on the treatment of mental illnesses. Cost is $60 and includes dinner and dessert. Participants can earn two social work CEUs for attending. “We are pleased to bring you the latest research from the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,” said Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota. “University researchers will present their latest findings, introduce new studies that are underway, and answer your questions. Join us for an evening of information and hope.” 

Ziad Nahas, MD, professor and executive vice chair for the Department of Psychiatry, will present New Treatments for Severe Depression. Jenny Zick, MD/Ph.D., research resident, presents What’s Old is New: Making Clozapine More Accessible for More Minnesotans with Severe Psychosis. Sophia Vinogradov, MD, chair for the Department of Psychiatry presents New Antipsychotic Medications Under Study. Saydra Wilson, MD, presents Psychiatry, M Health Fairview Mental Health & Addiction Services: Racial Disparities in Access to Neuromodulation Treatment. 

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Presentations are 6-8 p.m. Pre-registration required. FFI: 651-645-2948 or 1-888-NAMI-Helps, www.namimn.org or Eventbrite registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nami-minnesota-and-the-university-of-minnesotas-annual-research-dinner-tickets-508219336717 

Ability Summit set 

Microsoft holds a free online Ability Summit Microsoft Wed, March 8. Learn how communities and organizations can imagine, include and build an inclusive culture that will empower every person to achieve more. FFI: https://twitter.com/MSFTEnable/status/1612925071575732234 

Can Do Canines open house 

Can Do Canines will host an open house noon-2 p.m. Sat, March 4 at its campus 9at 440 Science Center Drive, New Hope. Potential clients, volunteers, or anyone who might be interested in supporting the organization can attend to learn how an assistance dog changes the life of a person with a disability. Through a self-guided tour, attendees will be able to watch a trainer working with an assistance dog, hear from a volunteer puppy raiser, talk with volunteer staff members, pose questions to client services coordinators about the application process, and meet graduate teams from each of the five types of areas Can Do Canines trains dogs: hearing, mobility, seizure, diabetes and childhood autism. Demonstrations will be held. FFI: www.candocanines.org 

Children and families 

PACER workshops sampling 

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Some in-person workshops are offered. Other 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 website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs. 

Video game Access Part Two: PS4/PS5 is 1-2:15 p.m. Wed, Feb. 8 online. In part two of Video Game Access, you’ll learn about devices, software, and accessibility features specific to gaming with PS4/PS5. 

Minnesota Statewide Family Engagement Center: Tools and Resources for Students with Dyslexia is 6:30-7:45 p.m. Wed, Feb. 15 online. The workshop will feature tools, apps and software to support students with dyslexia, from elementary school through college. Tools demonstrated will include text-to-speech, audiobooks, writing support and notetaking. 

Video Game Access : Part Three: Switch/Virtual Reality is 1-2:15 p.m. Wed, Feb. 22 online. In this part three of Video Game Access, learn about devices, software, and accessibility features specific to gaming with Switch/Virtual Reality. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org  

Apply for Project KITE 

PACER Center’s Project KITE is a series of five free workshops that bring together education professionals and the parents of children with whom they work. Through collaborative trainings, teams learn about assistive technology designed to enhance learning and increase inclusion of students with disabilities. Workshops travel to settings. 

Three separate teams with three members per team are needed to make a complete KITE training group. All three teams must be from similar geographic areas in Minnesota. Each single team is built around a focus child (aged 3-8) and consists of a parent of a child with special needs, a classroom teacher, and a related service provider working with the child. Each team member must apply individually. Applications for spring teams are due Fri, Feb. 24. FFI: Project KITE Coordinator Elizabeth Barry, 952-838-9000, [email protected], www.pacer.org/stc/kite 

Info & Assistance 

Many classes available 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has set up a wide variety of free and in-person online mental health classes. Choices include Hope for Recovery, Transitions, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, In Our Own Voice, Family to Family, Positive Psychology, Creating Caring Communities, smoking cessation, a suicide prevention class called QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities and many more. 

Be aware that on Feb. 1, NAMI Minnesota’s Online Support Groups move to a new and improved platform, HeyPeers. HeyPeers provides a safe, easy to access environment exclusively designed for online support group meetings. 

The classes and online support groups are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” or go straight to https://namimn.org/education-public-awareness/classes/scheduled/

  • Wash your hands! Hands that look can still have icky germs!
  • Work with your care provider to stay healthy. Protect yourself. Vaccines are your best protection against being sick.

You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.