Opportunities – May 2022

Special events  May is Mental Health Awareness Month  May is Mental Health Awareness Month. NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental […]

picture of the word opportunity

Special events 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) along with dozens of other organizations are involved in community education about mental illnesses, including creating awareness that effective treatments are available and that people can and do recover. 

NAMI will offer free online events all month including classes, panels and author talks covering topics such as bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders, suicide prevention, mental health during COVID, In Our Own Voice speakers on recovery, Black men and mental health, mindfulness and stress management, second generation immigrants and mental health, creating caring communities and much more. CEUs for social workers are offered for some events. 

Also available are NAMI’s free online and in-person peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, spouses/partners, parents of children and teens, and African-American and GLBTQ focused groups as well. 

You are not alone. To join NAMI Minnesota for any of these free events, classes or support groups, please go to namimn.org, or call 651-645-2948. 

Can Do Canines open house 

Can Do Canines hosts an open house noon-2 p.m. Sat, May 21 at its Can Do Canines campus, 9440 Science Center Drive, New Hope. Potential clients, volunteers, or anyone who might be interested in supporting the organization is invited to 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, talk with a Puppy Program volunteer and 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. Preregistration isn’t required. FFI: www.candocanines.org 


Free bipolar symposium 

NAMI Minnesota and M Health Fairview host a bipolar symposium 1-3 p.m. Thu, May 5, at University of Minnesota’s Cowles Auditorium, 301 19th Ave. S., Mpls. The free event will feature two presentations and can be joined either in person or online. Dr. Boris Birmaher, distinguished professor of psychiatry and endowed chair in early onset bipolar disease at the University of Pittsburgh, will present on controversies in the diagnosis and course of early bipolar disorder. Professor Sue Cotton, Dr. Aswin Ratheesh and Dr. Craig McNeil from Orygen and the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Center at the University of Melbourne, Australia, will present on their early stage bipolar disorder program. The 2022 Bipolar Symposium is in memory of Linda Jean Skay-Weinberg. Registration is required whether attending in person or online, please go to “classes” at namimn.org 

Children, youth and families 

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@gmailcom. Physical submissions can be mailed to MNSILC, 13189 Gladiola Way, Apple Valley, MN  55124. FFI: 612 518 1497, [email protected] 

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. 

Succeed at Work: Tools to Support Executive Function is 2-3:15 p.m. Wed, May 4. The workshop will explore technology to support executive function at work. Topics will include managing time, staying organized, completing tasks, and maintaining focus using devices and mobile apps. 

Navigating the Path to Financing Higher Education is 6:30-8 p.m. Tue, May 10. Many families dream of a post-high school education for their child. The webinar will help families more about the costs and benefits of higher education and how to pay for it. The workshop is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension 

Tech for Girls Club : May the Force be with You: Light-up Light sabers! is 10-11 a.m. Sat, May 14. The Force has chosen YOU! Come join in this virtual workshop to celebrate Star Wars month by creating our very own lightsabers using paper circuits and LED lights. Please register by May 8 to allow time to receive supplies from PACER. 

Mental Health Technology: Destress & Decompress is 1-2 p.m. Wed, May 16. Part one of the two-part series on mental health assistive technology will feature apps and devices to help manage everyday stressors. Tools demonstrated will be appropriate for late elementary-aged students and up. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org

Info & Assistance

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/ 

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/. 

  • "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."

Many former refugees are helping to make Minnesota a better place for all. Learn how at mn.gov/dhs/outstanding-refugee
Take the Minnesota Disability Inclusion and Choice Survey