May is Mental Health Awareness month

Tips to help take care of yourself start with accepting yourself as you are

Note saying 1 in 5 U.S. Adults experience mental illness each year and less than half receive treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988.

BRAINERD — May is the time to join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health.

It’s important to take care of our mental health but what is mental health? According to Minnesota Department of Health Stay Connected, mental health is a person’s general sense of emotional, psychological, and cognitive well-being. Everyone has mental health every day, but it’s often ignored unless something is going seriously wrong.

The best way to prevent that is to pay attention to your mental health even on the days that you are feeling just OK or even good. It’s important to notice how you feel mentally and to notice that your mental health is always changing. Yesterday might have been a better day than today, and that’s OK.

Part of being human is moving with your emotions and knowing when something isn’t going exactly how you want it to, check in with yourself, and reach out to your friends and family for help when you need to take some time for your mental health or don’t know what to do. Here are a few suggestions for taking care of yourself:


Want to increase your awareness about mental health? Attend a presentation at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center – from 6-7:30 p.m. threeMondays in May in Thabes meeting room. This meeting room is located in the basement at Essentia — when you get off the elevators, go straight through the cafeteria — the meeting room is in the back hallway. The events are free; registration is required. Visit our website; search for events: Home - Crow Wing Energized


  • Monday, May 8:  Mental Health and Addiction presented by Jenny Grunewald, Focus Unit, Essentia Health. You will learn how to spot behavioral and physical signs of addiction as well as learn about the process of getting someone into treatment and learn about resources in our area.  
  • Monday, May 15: Hope Floats presented by Bert Brandt, Wellness in the Woods. The presentation starts with a root beer float. Bert will share his story about how unaddressed trauma in his life impacted him; his main message will focus on hope. He will share tools to work on developing hope and resiliency.
  • Monday, May 22: Changing the Narrative on Mental Health and Suicide presented by Destiny Brown, Northern Pines Mental Health Center. Talking about mental health and suicide can be an uncomfortable and an uncertain topic that brings up different feelings, beliefs, and attitudes for everyone. This presentation is an interactive conversation that empowers participants to change perceptions of mental health towards hope and resilience.  

Need support now

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988.

Crow Wing Energized is a grassroots movement dedicated to improving the health and wellness of Crow Wing County residents through a focus on Healthy Choices, Mental Fitness, Workplace Wellness, and Community Connections. For more information about free resources, volunteering, classes and events, go to
The Dispatch partnered with Crow Wing Energized for a regular column to help motivate health and wellness in the community.

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