Opportunities – June 2024

Volunteer  Speak for nursing home residents  Long-term care volunteers bring passion and value to their work in nursing care facilities […]

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Speak for nursing home residents 

Long-term care volunteers bring passion and value to their work in nursing care facilities across Minnesota. With training and direction from the Office of the State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, volunteers champion the office’s mission to empower, educate and advocate for the rights of Minnesotans receiving long-term care services and supports. 

Certified volunteers assist paid regional ombudsmen to investigate and advocate for residents in nursing homes and assisted living settings. Residents are often unable, uncomfortable or, in some cases, fearful to advocate for themselves. With a resident’s consent, volunteers assist regional ombudsmen responding to residents’ concerns through complaint investigations. 

The state is looking for volunteers who are passionate about serving people in long-term care. 

There are more than 2,500 nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Minnesota. Fewer than 50 of those facilities currently have a certified ombudsman volunteer. The difference a volunteer makes in the lives of long-term care residents is immeasurable. 

The greatest volunteer needs are in Alexandria, Breckenridge, Chatfield, Dawson, Detroit Lakes, Duluth area, Eveleth, Fergus Falls, Faribault, Grand Rapids, Hastings, International Falls, Luverne, Madison, Moorhead, Northfield, Owatonna, Red Wing, Silver Bay, Spring Valley, Two Harbors, Virginia, Wabasso, Waseca, Wheaton, Willmar, Winona and Worthington 

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can visit

https://mn.gov/ooltc/volunteerwithus for more information. 

To contact the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care with any residents’ rights concerns, visit https://mn.gov/ooltc/contactus/. The office provides free, confidential advocacy services. 

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 at PACER Center, at Greater Minnesota locations and also offered online. 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 PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs. Access Press only lists a sampling of the workshops offered. 

Working toward positive educational outcomes: Mental health and special education is noon-1 p.m. June 12. Online. The introductory workshop will provide parents and others with information to help them understand the special education process, how to prepare for a positive Individualized education Plan team approach to support their child’s mental health needs, and how to navigate IEP team disagreements. The workshop is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Dept. of Education. 

Tech for Teens Club: 3D Printing Basics is 10-11:30 a.m. Sat, June 15 at PACER Center. Learn how to create a 3D model using Tinkercad online software and about what resources are available for printing 3D models. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, pacer.org

Info & Assistance 

Many classes available 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has 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. 

NAMI Minnesota’s Online Support Groups have moved to 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” FFI: namimn.org

  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."

Access is Love. Celebrate Pride with MCD. June 29 & 30.
Many former refugees are helping to make Minnesota a better place for all. Learn how at mn.gov/dhs/outstanding-refugee