Not enough: seeking and providing mental health services as a person of color in the Twin Cities

When Myisha Holley, a mother of three living in St. Paul, went through a divorce, she looked for a therapist that could help her and her daughters work through their trauma. She was clear about what she wanted from a relationship with a mental health professional. “I needed to feel like I could build a relationship with my therapist … like talking to the homegirl, without the judgment,” she said. For her daughters, Holley wanted a therapist who could be a role model while also supporting her while she parented. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 10/4: Council members vote against independent investigation of MPD and improper ketamine use

In a recent decision, Minneapolis City Council members voted 10 – 3 against funding an independent investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department after a report asserting that officers improperly encouraged Emergency Medical Services to administer ketamine to people in police custody. The investigation, recommended by Mayor Jacob Frey, was to be led by acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates and King & Spalding LLP, the Atlanta-based law firm where Yates is a partner. “This is something we all agreed was necessary just three short months ago,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano (Ward 13). “We heard from the community. Their asks were clear. Continue Reading

Restoring an echo of humanity for inmates through a different kind of public health

Erin Sharkey is preparing for a nature writing course she will offer at the Faribault Correctional Facility, a medium security prison. “It would be great to be able to have people spend time in nature when they are thinking and writing about nature,” said Sharkey. As a local artist, writer and instructor at the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, Sharkey would like to bring in sensory-rich objects, such as leaves, as a writing prompt for the students. But, she is not allowed to take a leaf inside the prison so she brings pictures of leaves. The everyday struggle to maintain one’s humanity inside Minnesota prisons remains largely out of sight. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 8/22: Expos celebrate natural black hair and beauty, encourage wellness in beauty industry

Although the Twin Cities has an increasingly diverse population of people from different racial backgrounds, Minnesota has long been considered a “flyover” state for beauty products aimed at black and brown people. However, two new beauty expos, the Twin Cities Natural Hair Expo and the Shades of Beauty Expo, are changing the conversation around POCI beauty and wellness in the Twin Cities. The two expos brought beauty practitioners from around the country to the Twin Cities who are interested in creating a beauty landscape that reflects our communities, as well as discussing the health effects for folks using damaging chemical hair products to mimic European beauty standards. “For so long, we have been left out of the discussion of what beauty looks like,” said Sherryln Thompson, Shades of Beauty Expo founder and producer. “We have been given image after image of blonde hair and blue eyes as a stereotype of beauty. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 3/28: Washburn Fellowship program gives resources to people of color becoming counselors

 

Washburn Center for Children has established a new fellowship for people of color in order to address the disparity between the number of POCs seeking mental health services and the number of POCs offering them. The Fellowship includes a stipend to help cover the cost of schooling and unpaid internships, professional mentorship with other POCs, and a supportive cohort of fellows. “This program comes from our commitment to advancing equity in the field and to helping expand the number of therapists of color,” Tom Steinmetz, [CEO of Washburn Center], said. “We realize our mission through the services we provide to children and families. By expanding the number of therapists of color in the state we directly impact access to care.”
Learn more about this fellowship and who it benefits at MinnPost. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 2/15: Minneapolis educators rally for fully-funded schools

More than 300 Minneapolis educators and community members protested at the Davis Center Tuesday night to advocate for better school funding in teachers’ contract negotiations. As reported by North News, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) is asking for smaller class sizes, more school support personnel and restorative practices, among other demands. “According to [Minneapolis Public Schools], MFT’s proposals would cost the district $160 million. According to Sullivan, even with district cuts adding up to $27 million, there would still be a $6 million hole to fill – the district will be asking Minneapolis taxpayers and the state legislature for additional funding support over the next year.”
To learn more about why Minneapolis Public School educators are rallying for fully-funded schools, check out the story at North News.  

New book, future restaurant from Twin Cities Oglala Lakota Chef

The founder of The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, published a cookbook-memoir-manifesto, “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.” According to the Southwest Journal, Sherman wants to decolonize and evolve indigenous foods in order to re-establish a connection with his culture and ancestors. Continue Reading

Forum brings Roseville closer to ‘dementia-friendly’ action plan

A Roseville group has begun shaping a plan to help the community become “dementia friendly,” following a public forum this fall where 53 people offered advice on what to do.“We’re very happy with the energy and thoughtful ideas that came out of the forum,” said Kitty Gogins, who coordinates the Roseville ACT on Alzheimer’s volunteer group. “Now we’re ready to make some decisions and put together a plan for what actions to take.”Those actions could go in several directions. Among suggestions: Within a year, Roseville might find itself home to a program training scores of residents and business employees as “dementia friends” ready to step forward to help people with Alzheimer’s and their families. Or it might see ecumenical religious services for people affected by memory loss, or one or two local nonprofit groups serving as the first place to call for help getting access to memory-care services.Begun early this year, the ACT on Alzheimer’s project was launched by the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team as one of its initiatives to help people in the city become more effective neighbors, friends and businesses to cope with the rising number of people with dementia, now estimated at about 750 in Roseville.This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Park Bugle. Check out the links below for other recent Park Bugle stories:Madcap merriment all month longArea once was home to several creameriesThose attending the Oct. Continue Reading