New mental health website started

During any given year, one in four adults and one in five children are affected by a mental illness, according to the National Institutes on Mental Health.

Despite the common occurrence, only half of those affected get the treatment they need. In effort to get information into the hands of people in our local communities, a new Central Minnesota mental health resources website has been launched at www.MNmentalhealth.org.

If you have a concern or question for yourself or someone close to you or just want to find information on mental health, this site will be the place to go for answers.

The new website is a one-stop-shop site for information and local resources within Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties. While many websites have resources listed mainly for the Twin Cites metropolitan area, this site has resources found in the local community or a short drive away.

“This is amazing to have everything about local mental health in one spot; whether you are 3, 13, 30 or 60 years old, you can find what you need,” a Sherburne County Mental Health social worker said.

The homepage lets you click on one of three age groups to find frequently asked questions (FAQS), fact sheets, online resources and advocacy. Early childhood covers ages 0-5; Children covers ages 6-17; and Adults covers the age of 18-plus years. The children and adult sections include mental health information specific to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning population.

The Fact Sheet section has a wealth of information for all ages. Topics include ADHD, autism, eating disorders, depression, compulsive disorders, schizophrenia and seasonal affective disorder. A variety of parenting fact sheets are also linked through the resource section. Some resources are found in the Spanish or Somali language.

A provider search by ZIP code allows users to find mental health and other important community resources in the area including providers that serve young children, teens or adults.

Users can sign up to receive emails on upcoming trainings and events. A comprehensive calendar of events, local committees and trainings is listed. In time a calendar of social events will be added for the four-county area.

The MNMentalHealth website is funded by STARS for Children’s Mental Health with funding from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration in conjunction with the CommUNITY Project. The CommUNITY Project serves adults with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties. CommUNITY Project provides support for persons experiencing mental health problems to enhance their contributions to the community.

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