Opportunities -- May 2021

Opportunities -- May 2021

Special events

Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, so NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and dozens of other organizations are involved in community education about mental illnesses, including creating awareness that effective treatments are available and that people can and do recover. NAMI Minnesota fights discrimination, provides support, educates the public, and advocates for policies that support people with mental illnesses and their families. NAMI will celebrate May is Mental Health Month this year with a full calendar of free online events including classes, panels, forums, author talks, activities for families and more. Also available are NAMI’s free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, spouses/partners, parents of children and teens, and African-American and GLBTQ focused groups as well. You are not alone. FFI: 651-645-2948, www.nami.org

Children and families

PACER workshops sampling

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are online and livestreamed at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs.

Don’t Forget to Remember: Tools to Support Memory is 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tue, May 11. Memory is a helpful, and sometimes challenging, executive (thinking) function for increasing independence. Learn about a variety of apps, programs, devices, and strategies to help remember instructions, tasks, appointments and more.

Life Planning Series : Special & Supplemental Needs Trusts is 6:30-8 p.m. Tue, May 11. The workshop will focus on power of attorney, health care directives, special and supplemental needs trusts, ABLE Accounts, and stimulus payments for SSI recipients.

What’s So Special About Turning Three? is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, May 18. Before a child’s third birthday, families on IFSPs will learn how to actively participate in the transition from Early Intervention Services to Preschool Special Education services or other community-based services. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org

INFO & ASSISTANCE

Minnesota STAR program

The Minnesota STAR program staff is working to provide services and keep clients safe. The equipment lending library has specific procedures and only no-contact loans are offered. All equipment is tested and sanitized prior to shipping. STAR staff wears proper PPE (personal protective equipment) during the process. Device loans continue to be for 30 days. After equipment is returned to STAR it is quarantined for five days. After the quarantine period equipment is once again sanitized, inspected and tested. Virtual demonstrations are done on as needed. Information and assistance services continue as usual. FFI: 651-201-2640, star.program@state.mn.us

Centers for independent living statewide

Minnesota centers for independent living statewide have gone to a mix of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically centers offer an array of classes, training programs and other services tied to independent living. Centers that proving PCA, homemaker and other staffing for clients continue to do that in person. But most services aren’t provide at facilities. Facilities aren’t open to the public at all or on a limited basis, varying by center. Check with a local center before going in. FFI: www.macil.org

Vision loss group offers activities

Vision Loss Resources has a new audio activities line. To listen to the audio version of the calendar, call 612-235-3654. The calendar is also available on the website. Ask about virtual support groups, events, distance learning and no-contact grocery shopping and reading support. FFI: 612-843-3439, 612-871-2222, info@visionlossresources.org

Online mental health support

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a variety of free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, as well as parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators, the support groups help individuals and families learn coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. The groups are specifically for those individuals suggested by the group’s title. For example, Family Support Group is only for family members and NAMI Connection is only for those who live with a mental illness and are over 18 years old, etc. Find a complete listing of group meetings and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Support Groups”. FFI:  https://namimn.org/support/nami-minnesota-support-groups/.

Centers for independent living statewide

Minnesota centers for independent living statewide have gone to a mix of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically centers offer an array of classes, training programs and other services tied to independent living. Check with a local center before going in. FFI: www.macil.org