Free mental health guidance helping families in pandemic
“The mental health of our students has been a priority since we took office, and its importance has only grown amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan added. “During this difficult time, we remain committed to ensuring we provide opportunities for each and every child.”
Walz noted that distance learning has certainly added more stress to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will provide resources to the School-Linked Mental Health Programs, a Minnesota Department of Human Services-run program that includes 58 providers covering 1,100 school sites in Minnesota.
RESOURCES: Suicide prevention, mental health programs and services
“Meeting the mental health needs of students takes special care and attention and that’s been especially true throughout the pandemic,” Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said. “This generous donation will help schools and mental health professionals improve safety measures so students can safely continue receiving services face-to-face, or when in-person services aren’t an option, to make sure they stay connected to school-linked mental health services through telemedicine.”
“We are appreciative of the ongoing support from the state of Minnesota including the unemployment funds paid to our co-workers who were furloughed in the early weeks of the pandemic,” Javier Quiñones, IKEA Retail U.S. president, said. “People are the heart of our business, and the state unemployment benefits helped IKEA US co-workers during a difficult time. We now have a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our business, and we’ve decided to ‘pay it forward’ in our local communities.”
Sue Abderholden, the executive director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota noted that almost half of young adults are showing signs of depression during the pandemic.
Jodi Nelson, with Change Inc., and Julie Hanenburg with Lighthouse Child and Family Services, both noted that telehealth services have make it easier for Minnesotans to get an appointment and receive the help they need. They also urged Minnesotans to acknowledge that it’s OK to have COVID fatigue and feel stressed because it’s affecting everyone in different ways.
Anyone can get help via the 24-hour hotline in Minnesota by texting “MN” to 741741. There are also resources to help Minnesotans online.
Some other notes from Friday afternoon’s call include:
- Malcolm says the state’s average positivity rate is at 15.4%, and the rate of case growth is still outpacing testing growth.
- Walz said he and lawmakers are still working to find common ground to address some things in a December special session but haven’t yet reached any agreements.
- Walz wouldn’t commit one way or the other to a possible extension of the state’s restrictions after they expire in four weeks, saying it’ll depend on what the data is showing at that time and what the Upper Midwest’s COVID-19 situation is.
- The governor also addressed Minnesotans, saying he understands it’s been a tough week but urged them to keep themselves and their families safe, saying “we can do this.”