The Quad Area Chamber’s tagline is “Stronger Together.” Our role is to support and advocate for the businesses, faith communities, government agencies, nonprofits, schools and local residents with the goal of building a more vibrant community.

In order to have a healthy, vibrant community we must have conversations about mental health. It effects all of us and it is too important to ignore. We need to challenge the status quo! Let’s all be willing to ask “How are you doing?” and let’s be prepared to offer help when someone needs it.

“You Matter, Talk to Us!” is the tagline of the Minnesota Department of Health as it relates to Suicide Awareness Month. If you need to talk, no matter is too small or insignificant. Take time to make the call. Whether you access the Suicide Prevention Life Line at 1 – 800 272 Talk (8255) or text MN to 741741 or the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Press 1 a listening supportive ear is just a moment away.  

As a community we must learn it’s okay to talk about mental health and suicide. Mental health can affect daily living, relationships and physical health. Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions. Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we will use this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is ensuring that individuals, friends, and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.

We ask that you join us in creating awareness both personally and through your contacts. One man, Caleb Wedger, wanted to do his part and is training to run 100 miles to bring awareness to the estimated 100 Minnesota veterans lost to suicide each year. Wedger approached the Quad Area Chamber, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Lino Lakes and Freedom Fishing Foundation, who have partnered to create the 100 Too Many event on Oct. 1 & 2.  More information can be found at QuadAreaChamber.org and FreedomFishingFoundation.com

We encourage you to join this important conversation, because we are stronger together.   

 

Dorothy Radermacher is the executive director of the Quad Area Chamber of Commerce. 

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