Did you know that 819,000 adults in Minnesota have a mental health condition? That’s more than 11x the population of St Cloud. Studies continue to prove that mental health problems are increasing in our community, yet Minnesotans still struggle to get the help they need.
Many individuals do not seek mental health treatments because they lack resources or fear stigmatization. More than half of people with a mental health condition in the U.S. didn’t receive treatment in the past year.
This is why, now more than ever, we need to change the conversation around mental health.
What we are Doing to Change the Conversation
At United Way of Central Minnesota, we’re making mental health a priority. Through the following local partnerships and projects, we work to provide quality, affordable, and accessible mental health care to those in need within our community.
The 211 Helpline is a place to call when you don’t know where to turn. Every day, thousands of people reach out to 211 seeking free and confidential assistance related to anything from emergency and addiction counseling to employment services. This 24/7, free, and confidential helpline is staffed by trained counselors, ready to connect callers with the most comprehensive database of local social services.
Whether someone is searching for mental health care themselves or concerned about another individual, 211 readily provides long-term mental health resources and local treatment options.
In 2020, 211 connected over 900,000 people to mental health resources across the country. For the people living with mental health conditions in Central MN who don’t know the type of care or treatment they need, 211 is here to help.
988: THE SUICIDE & CRISIS LIFELINE
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a country-wide, three-digit code that routes callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. From there, a trained crisis counselor can help those experiencing suicidal thoughts, addiction, or mental health crises.
The U.S. rolled out the 988 code on July 16th, 2022. Since then, suicide-related calls in Minnesota have increased by 44%. With new texting and web chatting capabilities, the state also received 4,099 chats (a 173% increase) and 1,306 texts (a 250% increase). These numbers become even more important when you consider that Minnesota has recorded a steadily increasing number of suicides over the past 20 years.
United, we can all help prevent suicide. For community members struggling with suicide-related thoughts or mental health crises, the 988 Lifeline offers 24/7, free, confidential support.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CHANGE THE CONVERSATION
At United Way of Central Minnesota, we believe that good health is woven together holistically. When you join us to raise awareness and break negative stigmas, you create a ripple effect that changes the conversation on a local level.
Educating those within our Central Minnesotan community is the first step towards overcoming the negative stigmas and stereotypes surrounding mental health. Here’s how you can help.
UNDERSTAND THAT MENTAL HEALTH IS HEALTH
There are many reasons people develop mental illness in their lifetime, from trauma to simple biology. Regardless of the why, it’s important to recognize that mental health conditions are health conditions, just like diabetes or cancer.
You begin to make a change when you educate yourself about mental illness. Take the time to understand stigmas, learn the facts, and uncover practical strategies you can use every day.
SEEK HELP FOR MENTAL HEALTH
If you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or are dealing with mental health challenges, United Way is here to help. For information on local resources and treatment options, dial or text 211. If you or a loved one is facing suicide-related thoughts, text or call 988. Either way, a confidential, empathetic specialist is waiting to connect you with the necessary resources.
RAISE YOUR HAND FOR MENTAL ILLNESS
United we can change the conversation around mental health.
We ask you to Raise Your Hand for your community. Join United Way of Central MN as we advocate for government funding and regulations that will improve the mental well-being of those needing relief and change.