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Friday, May 24, 2024
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BE THERE IN 2024

A sunny but brisk January morning, the neces­sary ingredients to stimulate this CVSO’s calci­fied and cynical mind. I must admit that the subze­ro temperatures might be affecting my brain’s ability to formulate enough similar thoughts to complete a paragraph. I am trying to express my optimism and stubbornness in a clever way to reinforce what I am about to share. I must grab my crayons for sustenance and drive on.

Did I mention that I am a Marine? Yes, a whole series of articles could be written attempting to explain why a Marine identifies as a Marine even when it is not applicable to the situation. Most non-marines are not going to understand why a Marine does or says something. Marines are often misunderstood even in the Veteran com­munity.

Could there be a stigma associated with Ma­rines? I am certainly not helping things when I mention eating those delicious and waxy treats known as crayons. I reserve the right to be self-deprecating. I am inflating the stigma or ste­reotype to make a point about how easy it is when you do not fully understand something.

I have previously mentioned identifying and eliminating the stigma associated with mental health. How might we accomplish this mission?

We might improvise, adapt, and overcome, or we might first start with education. I have been and will continue to ask for and promote mental health training. It should be open and available to everyone. Here is your opportunity to start your training and combat mental health stigma.

Lake County and Lake View have partnered together, along with grant support from CLP Op­eration Round Up, to provide Be There in 2024. Have you been told you’re a good listener? Do you ever wonder the “right” things to say? We’re seeking hair stylists, servers, bartenders, church volunteers, massage therapists, and similar “peo­ple persons” to join us in a free community men­tal health training.

The class will focus on the best ways to be there through L.A.K.E. (Listen, Ask, Know re­sources, and Encourage help). The training will be Wednesday, February 7th, at Lake View Con­ference Center (325 11th Avenue, Two Harbors) with Sarah Wells, MSW LICSW (mental health therapist and educator). There are three time of­ferings: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm; 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm; or 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Sign up at https://slhduluth.jotform.com/233605899379879  25 participants to sign up will receive a $40 sti­pend.

Brad Anderson and Melissa Crandall are the Lake County Veterans Service Officers and can be reached at 218.834.8326 or cvso@co.lake.mn.us

Karen Christianson is the Cook County Vet­erans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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