Change Your Mind: Living with Mental Illness

It's Mental Health Week, and we're kicking off a special weeklong series on Northland Morning called "Change Your Mind: Living with Mental Illness."

TXT4LIFE started right here in the Northland in 2011.
No matter who you are, if you need someone to talk to, text “Life” to 61222.   A trained counselor will respond to your text. Find out more about TXT4LIFE at txt4life.org

Monday, 10/5 | 8am
Mary McClernon is here to talk about family and social support
Tuesday, 10/6 | 8am
David Lee talks about The Birch Tree Center and crisis support - how new options for treatment serve both the patient and the community better
Wednesday, 10/7 | 8am
Rick Gertsema talks about DBT, a kind of therapy designed to help people with mental illness increase their coping skills, identify emotional triggers and change unhelpful behavior patterns.  And it might work for you, too!
Thursday, 10/8 | 8am
Street Outreach worker Deb Holman talks about the Catch-22 of discharge planning - how mentally ill people can insist they be discharged from the hospital even if they have nowhere to go or no one to help them.
Friday, 10/9 | 8am
Jackie Buffington-Vollum talks about the work she does training the Duluth Police Department and others to safely de-escalate a mental health crisis and connect people with mental health resources instead of jail.

The Mental Health Week on KUMD was made possible in part by the Human Development Center, Miller-Dwan Foundation and the St. Luke’s Foundation.

kiwinky/Flickr

When people reach the breaking point - that's when you'd think they'd turn to Healthy Expressions Rage Room in Duluth.

The historical record is written and maintained, in many cases, by people who wanted their story told - and told in a certain way.

So when Susan Bartlett Foote came across the diary of Engla Schey, with accounts and photographs of the conditions in mid-20th century Minnesota mental institutions, she knew these were forgotten - but vitally important - stories about forgotten people.

anonymous object/Flickr

You're in your car, headed to the store.

Your boss asks if they can see you for a moment and then asks you to close the door.

You hear a raised voice from outside.

hehaden/Flickr

Depression is  considered "treatment-resistant" if at least four different medications haven't worked and a person has also been seeing a counselor or therapist.

Karen Roe/Flickr

Tom Kasper isn't a doctor, and he doesn't even play one on the radio.

But he is a master gardener.  And as we begin Mental Health Week on KUMD,  it turns out he knows a thing or two about how gardening can be good for what ails you.

Maria Ismawi/Flickr

Big surprise - movies and television are not always the most reliable sources when it comes to getting information about medical treatment.

Charles Rodstrom/Flickr

KUMD celebrates Mental Health Week with a series of interviews called Thinking Outside the Box.

There are new treatments for mental illness being developed all the time; and some of them are increasingly available here in the Northland.

Browse through the stories and look back at some of KUMD's award-winning mental health coverage in the past.

This Is Why Not: Finding Hope and Resilience in Troubled Times Spring 2017

©Netflix (used with permission)

You get a breakup text -- on your phone.

Your boss calls you into her office.

Your partner says, "I want a divorce."

That moment - the moment of crisis or panic - can send your mind tearing into the future, constructing one awful scenario after another, and it's that moment when you - or someone you love is vulnerable.

But you can learn and strengthen skills to get you through that moment and out on the other side - safe.

Additional Resources:

Lisa Johnson

The suicide rate for Native kids is twice the rate of that for non-Natives.

With that terrifying number, how can tribal people encourage hope and resilience in young people when their lived experience is so different - and falls so short, many times - of what they see on television or online?

All over the country, and here in Minnesota, tribes are working hard to reconnect their young people with traditional teachings, the land, the natural world and with elders to restore their identify and reinvigorate their pride in who they are.

Additional Resources:

©NETFLIX (USED WITH PERMISSION)

Do you have five people you can talk to?  Really talk to?

How do you find them - as a young person or an adult?

And how can you become that person for someone else?

 Additional Resources:

Shawna Weaver

When we heard on Earthwise Radio this week that communing with nature makes us feel better, it probably wasn't a surprise.

But the why might surprise you.  Who woulda thunk that it's the structured, predictable nature of, well, nature that appeals to us?

©Netflix (used with permission)

ERs in the Northland are seeing young people coming in who have made, to varying degrees, attempts to take their own lives in the wake of the popular Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

©Netflix (used with permission)

The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. The death of Project Semicolon founder Amy Bluel. The study that discovered that a group of white, middle-aged Americans are dying what they call "deaths of despair."

What do these three things have in common?

Let's call it an absence of hope.

In troubling times, it's easy to put your finger on everything that's going wrong. And we're given the idea that focusing on the problems is somehow the right thing, the mature thing to do, while focusing on the good makes you naive or foolish.

Lisa Johnson
Joseph Yetman Photography LLC

On September 23, 2016, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) announced KUMD’s Lisa Johnson as the winner in the Journalism Award Program for Excellence in Reporting on Suicide in the state of Minnesota.

Photo provided by Arne Vainio

When Arne Vainio set out to write articles on the epidemic of Native youth suicide for Indian Country Today and Indianz.com, he put out a call for names of people who had taken their own lives.

What the Finnish-Ojibwe family medicine practitioner on the Fond du Lac reservation didn't expect was 109 names, including four from one family.

Dr. Arne Vainio sees the effects of poverty, substance abuse, tribes without the resources to provide programs for young people.  Factors as far back as the BIA boarding schools and as current as social media contribute to despair that can sometimes drive Native youth to suicide.

But Vainio is in a unique position to see more than one side of the story:  his father took his own life when Vainio was four years old.


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