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Community leaders to share their mental health journeys on May 31

The community is invited to an intimate discussion as community leaders Hara Charlier, president of Central Lakes College; Matt Kilian, president of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce; and Adam Rees, president of Essentia Health-Central; along with Brainerd High School student Caroline Benson, share their personal mental health journeys.

Joining the discussion will be Brian Nystrom, president of Nystrom & Associates; and psychiatrist Dr. Peter Neifert.

The discussion will be from 6-7 p.m., May 31, at Lakewood Church, 6284 Fairview Road N. in Baxter. The event is free, but tickets are required and can be picked up at the Brainerd Dispatch, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, or Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center's Gift Shop.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In Crow Wing County, over 1 in 4 (28.2 percent) residents have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Yet stigma continues, preventing people from sharing their struggles, and from reaching out for help.