Crow Wing Energized: May is Mental Health Awareness month

May is the time to join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. There are many presentations available throughout the Brainerd lakes area.

Illustration for May as Mental Health Awareness Month
May is mental health awareness month.
Contributed / Crow Wing Energized Anna Altenburger/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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May is the time to join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health.

There are many presentations available throughout the Brainerd lakes area. Presentations are available to businesses, medical facilities, schools, financial institutions, emergency service agencies including law enforcement, fire department, emergency medical services, first responders, and more.

Here are a few presentations that are available throughout the area:

Crisis Text Line: Crisis Text Line provides free support
at your fingertips, 24/7. Presentation for Crisis Text Line information available for grades 7-12, including community presentations.

  • Cost: No cost.
  • Platform: In-person or virtual.
  • Length: Adjustable according to need.

Make It OK-Stop Mental Illness Stigma: Make It OK is a community campaign to reduce stigma by increasing understanding and creating caring conversations about mental health illnesses.


  • Cost: No cost.
  • Length: One hour.
  • Platform: In-person or virtual.

Changing the Narrative-Minnesota Department of Health: Participants will leave with an understanding about the importance of language, be able to identify risk and protective factors, and be empowered to respond to people in distress. Discuss the different feelings, beliefs, and attitudes talking about mental health and suicide.

  • Cost: No cost.
  • Length: 1-3 hours.
  • Platform: In-person or virtual.
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Question, Persuade, Refer: QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is a one-hour educational, evidence-based program designed to teach lay and professional "gatekeepers" the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond. Gatekeepers can include anyone who is strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide.

The process follows three steps:

  • Question the individual's desire or intent regarding suicide,
  • Persuade the person to stay alive, seek and accept help, and
  • Refer the person to appropriate resources
  • Cost: No cost.
  • Length: One hour.
  • Platform: Virtual or in-person.

S.A.V.E. Know the Signs, Ask the Question, Validate the person's experience, Encourage/Expediate getting help: Attendees will learn:

  • A general understanding of the scope of suicide in the U.S.
  • Myths and facts about suicide
  • SIGNS of someone thinking about suicide
  • How to ASK questions
  • Validate the person’s feelings
  • Encourage/expedite getting help
  • Cost: No cost.
  • Length: One hour.
  • Platform: Virtual or in-person.

safeTALK-Suicide Alertness for Everyone: safeTALK is a half day training program to educate participants on how to recognize persons at risk for suicide and become comfortable talking to them and connecting them to services. This training is appropriate for nonclinical staff, adults and caregivers. The training can also be provided to high school youth.

  • Cost: May vary.
  • Length: Four hours.
  • Platform: In-person.

Kognito-School: The mission of the Minnesota School Personnel Mental Health Training Initiative is to grow a community of leaders to help protect, maintain, and improve the health of all Minnesota students. The Minnesota Departments of Health and Education want to recognize schools and districts that have worked hard to implement the Kognito At-Risk simulation training. Schools or districts that implement the Kognito At-Risk simulations can apply for recognition as a Minnesota Kognito Champion School or Minnesota Kognito Champion District.

  • Cost: No cost.
  • Length: Varies.
  • Platform: Virtual.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: Youth Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

  • Cost: May vary.
  • Length: Eight hours.
  • Platform: In-person or virtual.

Additional resources

NAMI Minnesota — National Alliance on Mental Illness


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Minnesota Department of Health

Northern Pines Mental Health Center partnered with Crow Wing Energized to offer the Front Line Care Project because we understand what impacts your daily life, professionally and personally.
We want to help you, like you help so many within the community. Our goal is to eliminate barriers for frontline workers to receive mental health services within our community. Front Line Care offers free, confidential therapy to first responders/frontline workers. To qualify for this project, you must work in Crow Wing County in law enforcement (police department, sheriff’s department, state troopers), fire department, EMT services, or Crow Wing County Social Services.

For more information, contact Destiny Brown at 218-821-2501 or .

For more information about presentations available, contact Karen Johnson-Crow Wing Energized at or Destiny Brown-Northern Pines Mental Health Center at

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