Mental health is a top priority in our communities

At the 2016 Bridge to Health Conference, participants identified mental health as a major issue of concern in Northland communities. The 2019 and 2022 Duluth Community Health Needs Assessments also determined that mental health was a top priority for the community to address.

To address community mental health, a collaborative of businesses, organizations and people in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin formed to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, and connect people with mental health care resources. The collaborative was called Northland Healthy Minds. Generations advanced the efforts of Northland Healthy Minds through leadership on the Executive Committee, organizing events, financial support, and serving as the fiscal agent for the collaborative.

From 2017 through 2021, Northland Healthy Minds planned and hosted regular community events, and connected with employers for workplace outreach. Northland Healthy Minds focused most of its outreach and education efforts in May for Mental Health Awareness Month. Events included resource fairs, speakers, documentary screenings, and art exhibit, an art workshop, theater performances for youth about mental health, and laughter yoga.

The Clarity Project, A regional collaborative working to address the gaps in the continuum of mental health care – and crisis care, specifically, is another collaborative Generations has been a part of. Generations’ contribution to The Clarity Project includes the development, distribution, and analysis of a survey designed to assess the existing adult mental health crisis care resources and gaps in the greater Duluth area.