Tips for Surviving and Thriving through the Holidays

Here are some tips to prevent holiday stress and maintain sobriety that can be put in practice by all.

Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community or other social events or communities. Many may have websites, online support groups, social media sites or virtual events. They can offer support and companionship.

Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year, don’t set unrealistic expectations of yourself or others.

Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion.

Learn to say no. Don’t feel pressured into giving time, effort or money that will cause stress. When it comes to sobriety, make sure your not caving to peer pressure, bring your own non alcoholic beverages.

Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

Take a breather/don’t forget self care. Take a break by yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Caring for yourself will give you the reserves to manage both holiday stress and drinking urges, and let you bring your best self to your family gatherings.

Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, triggered to use and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP!

Find a Mental Health or Substance Use provider/ program with IMMEDIATE availability at Search – Fast Tracker (


DHS seeks input on online search tools for finding mental health and substance use disorder treatment

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is asking stakeholders to complete an online survey by Jan. 20, 2023, to improve currently existing online tools that direct individuals to mental health and substance use disorder services.

The survey gives stakeholders an opportunity to identify what tools are currently being used and what improvements could be made to those tools.

Also included in the survey are questions regarding the culturally specific functionality of these online tools and how that can be improved. The responses will be used to determine how to direct funding related to these online tools and any potential new tools.

Instructions for navigating this web-based survey:

Click the RESET button to reset answers on the current page in the survey.
Click the SUBMIT button on the last page to submit your completed survey to DHS.



Tue, Jan 24: Exercise and Eating Disorders: Helping Clients Return to Healthy Engagement with Exercise – Free Online Webinar -1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST


See you all next year!


If you have any news or announcements you would like added to the Newsletter, please Email us:

DC’s Black Adam Star talks about Vulnerability as a Superpower!

With 21-inch biceps and 10 WWE World Wrestling Championship belts, “vulnerability” is not a word many would associate with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

But vulnerability has been a superpower of sorts for the wrestler, actor and “Black Adam” star, he revealed in a recent interview with Men’s Health magazine. And he’s encouraging other men to find their vulnerable side, too.

“The Rock” tells all men that its okay to ask for help and take care of their mental health HERE


Men’s Mental Health Month Facts

November is Men’s Mental Health Month, The goal of Men’s Mental Health Month is to increase public awareness of a range of issues that influence men’s health. We cannot disregard this fact as we focus on men this month since men are more hesitant to seek help or therapy for their mental health issues.

Read More Facts on Mental Health in men from Mental Health America HERE

Please visit Search – Fast Tracker ( to get the Mental Health support you deserve with the availability you NEED!


Overdose spike ALERT

There has been a spike of 34 suspected non-fatal overdoses and 6 suspected fatal overdoses reported between October 28 and 30 in Hennepin County. Naloxone was reported being administered in 10 of these overdoses.

Considerations: 1) A spike is defined as 17 or more non-fatal overdoses or 3 or more suspected fatal overdoses reported in a 24 hour period 2) overdoses are suspected, not confirmed, 3) there are likely more overdoses happening than reported, 4) the fatality status is unknown for individuals being transported to the emergency department, 5) the information on substances involved are suspected, not confirmed.

Data source: First responder reports to Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (ODMAP).

Location Reports are showing that the overdoses have happened recently in ZIP codes 55316 (Champlin), 55401 (Minneapolis Central), 55403 (Minneapolis Central), 55404 (Minneapolis Central and Phillips), 55406 (Minneapolis Longfellow), 55407 (Minneapolis Powderhorn), 55408 (Minneapolis Isles), 55409 (Minneapolis Isles), 55414 (Minneapolis Northeast), 55415 (Minneapolis Central), 55417 (Minneapolis Nokomis), 55419 (Minneapolis Southwest), 55423 (Richfield), 55430 (Brooklyn Center), 55447 (Plymouth), and 55454 (Cedar Riverside).

Substance information Reports are showing that substances suspected to be involved in this spike are alcohol, fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, over-the-counter medication not specified, oxycodone and prescription drugs. In most cases the suspected drug was missing.

Information from Hennepin County’s opioid response



Friday, December 2nd- FREE HYBRID CEU “Affluence and Addiction” presented by Arden O’Connor. Statistics demonstrate that children raised in wealthy families and affluent communities are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. REGISTER

Friday, December 2nd- A Virtual Discussion About Ethical Decision Making and the use of Involuntary Holds in Eating Disorder Treatment – December 2, 2022,11 a.m. CST REGISTER

Wednesday, December 7th- Virtual CE Event: The Somatic Approach to Healing – 11am-12pm CST REGISTER


Have a Great Thanksgiving, we are thankful for ALL of you!


If you have any news or announcements you would like added to the Newsletter, please Email us:

Post Election Stress: 5 Helpful Mental Health Tips

Election stress is one thing but election stress on top of, COVID-19 stress and seasonal stress is another layer of emotion. Here are 5 tips to cope with post-election stress.

  1. Reconnect with Family and Friends – Take a break from social media and connect with friends, family and community members virtually or in a safe way. If you have concerns over the election, express those with people you feel safe with to get those concerns off your chest.
  2. Channel Your Stress into Something Productive – You have the power to impact your community more than you think! It feels good to know you are making a difference. Create a plan to donate, volunteer or share the message of an organization you support. If you have strong feelings towards the political system, see what actions can be taken at the local level.
  3. Limit Media Consumption – Reduce the amount of media you are consuming in a day. Take note of the way the news makes you feel and adjust accordingly. A large amount of exposure to political upheaval can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. Limit TV time and phone screen time. Set parameters on your TV or turn off notifications on your phone.
  4. Set Boundaries – Conversations around the election can cause stress especially if there are disagreements on political views. Take a moment to understand a point of view rather than to persuade a point of view. Have a toolkit of phrases to pull from when you are ready to disconnect from a conversation. Phrases like, “Thank you for the conversation but I have to go now” or “I appreciate this conversation, but I must attend to my work now” are great to have handy.
  5. Self-Care – Overall, take care of yourself by creating healthy habits to deal with stress. Eat healthy, exercise, work on a hobby, get enough sleep and avoid drugs and alcohol to cope.

Read the full article HERE

You can also Search – Fast Tracker ( for Mental and Chemical Health openings in your local area.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s: Protecting Your Mental Health During the Holidays

Concerned about the impact of the holiday season on your mental health? You are not alone.

In a recent survey, nearly 88% of adults referred to the holiday season (or the period beginning in November and lasting until the New Year) as the most stressful time of the year. And while some stress is inevitable, too much stress, especially if we are already having mental health challenges, can challenge our ability to cope.

The good news? There are things you can do that can help during this stressful time.

Get outside during daylight hours.

Having fewer hours of daylight during the season can have a negative impact on your mood. Especially during the months of November and December, and especially if you struggle with depression, try to find 30 minutes to get outside during daytime hours. Walk somewhere instead of driving, invite a friend or neighbor to take a daily walk, sit outside every day, or watch a sunrise.

Take a risk and connect if you are feeling lonely.

Chances are pretty good that you are not the only one feeling lonely this season. Reach out to someone who may also be feeling that way. Sharing how you are feeling may empower them to do the same. Talk about ways you can stay connected and support each other this season. A regular call, text or note to check in with each other may help both of you.

Do at least one thing to improve your sleep this season.

Keeping consistent sleep hours (and getting enough sleep) can help you to better navigate the stressful months of the season. Pick one thing you will do to improve your sleep and do it as consistently as you can. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier, leave your phone in another room, make the room completely dark (or use an eye mask or dark curtains), or keep the thermostat lower, since we often sleep better in cooler temperatures.

More ideas HERE




Thursday, November 17th- “Involving parents and caregivers: A team-based approach” Led by Jerry Halverson, MD, FACPsych, DFAPA, and Joshua Nadeau, PhD, this webinar will explore the importance and benefits of family involvement for youths and adolescents during mental health treatment. REGISTER

Friday November 18th- No Wait, That’s Grief Virtual Symposium seeks to unite the stories of a variety of individuals from different backgrounds, life circumstances, and lived experiences with one common thread – grief. REGISTER

Friday, December 2nd- FREE HYBRID CEU “Affluence and Addiction” presented by Arden O’Connor. Statistics demonstrate that children raised in wealthy families and affluent communities are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. REGISTER


If you have any news or announcements you would like added to the Newsletter, please Email us:

A note on the re-launch from our Executive Director

Dear Admin Community Partners,

First, thank you for joining with over the years on this effort to better connect the public and each other to simplify navigating Minnesota’s mental health and substance use disorder systems. We’ve made great progress together and we plan to build on that legacy even more for the future. To that goal, we’ve researched, taken information from focus groups, emails, and conversations with you, and invested in a new version of Our goal was to update and streamline our interface with you, and ultimately collect data to better measure need and capacity, and inform future investments in Minnesota.

That brings us to the recent re-launch. We knew we would discover some glitches with the relaunch and fully expected to troubleshoot. Now we realize that, although the redesign aimed to be familiar and build on past strengths, the admin interface has not been as intuitive as anticipated, and we’ve identified glitches that have been challenging for everyone.

I want to apologize to you and ask you to bear with us as we address these issues. You have been very helpful and patient. We built this tool to help you do the important work you do serve Minnesotans, and we value your time.


  • Thanks to your feedback about inaccurate search results, we discovered the source for some data update troubles and resulting erroneously small search results. We’re still partnering with over 1500 clinics and programs across Minnesota. We’re fixing that bug and invite you to test the search results again.


  • Email us your comments, your feedback, and your screenshots. We want to hear about your search results successes and misses, your update victories, and challenges. Tell us what you think about the site’s navigation.
  • We are working with our data and IT contractors to develop training modules and will be offering them in the coming weeks.

Stick with us through these bumpy days and help us build into exactly what you need. Together we can create connection and cohesion.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. or 651-278-4241.

Search now – Search – Fast Tracker (

All Email reminders will be coming from or going forward, please make sure you have both unblocked in order to continue to get important updates about your listings and avoid being deleted. Thank you!


Help us welcome BABY LUCY!

Help Us congratulate the Lillestol family on their newest addition!

Our MH lead here at, Jessica and her family welcomed their second child, baby Lucy on 9/23/2022! Mamma is doing great, and big brother Archie is so proud!

Jessica will be out until mid-November to bond with Lucy, so if you need any assistance with the website or your listings, please email Samantha at




Friday September 30th – Progress Valley’s 50th Anniversary Breakfast Celebration 8am – 9:30am – Hyland Hills Chalet – * will be here in person, come see us

Saturday October 1st – Should Out Loud 3rd suicide prevention & awareness Concert Benefit -St. Louis Park Rec Center R.O.C. – 3700 Monterey Drive, St. louis park, MN 55416 11am to 8pm CST * will be here in person, come see us at the face painting booth!

Friday October 7th – It Takes a Virtual Village “Ethics in the Virtual Space” – 10:30 a.m. CT – 1.5 CE Hours

Wednesday, Oct 12th – Listening sessions to help inform upcoming Minnesota SUD Summit – 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM or 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM -Webex

Monday October 24 through the 26th – 2022 MARRCH Annual Conference & Expo – Saint Paul RiverCentre.


Welcome Fall!


If you have any news or announcements you would like added to the Newsletter, please Email us:

Samantha with Substance Use Programs – and
Jessica with Mental Health –

Forward this newsletter to a friend!