Hudson, Wis. – A community conversation took a lighthearted look at a heavyweight subject on Tuesday (March 28).
The Make It OK Community Conversation took place at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis. Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) presenter John Moe talked to more than 150 people from across the St. Croix Valley about his experience with depression. He also spoke on the response he’s received to the Hilarious World of Depression podcasts.
Moe hosted those nine podcasts earlier in the year. They featured comedians talking about their depression and how they managed to laugh along the way. HealthPartners and its Make It OK campaign sponsored the podcasts. At Tuesday night’s event, Moe encouraged people to talk more about mental illness to reduce stigma.
“I’m not a doctor – I was a theater major,” he said. “All I’m doing is asking questions and talking about my own experience. What if everyone in this room just started having an honest conversation with their child, spouse, parent about mental health? About struggles you have had and struggles they have had. If people talked as much about mental health as they do about nutrition and exercise, stigma would be over tomorrow.”
A panel discussion also featured five thought leaders involved with mental health services in the St. Croix Valley. The speakers included:
- Pat Rogers, Clinical Director, FamilyMeans
- Dan Van Someren, Jail Captain, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office
- Heather Erickson, Director of Behavioral Health, Amery Hospital & Clinic
- Shelly Rock, Director of Parish Nursing, Lakeview Hospital
- Peter VanDusartz, Director of Program Development, HealthPartners St. Croix Valley Behavioral Health
“We want our communities in the St. Croix Valley to understand that mental illness is just that – an illness,” said Ted Wegleitner, President and CEO of Lakeview Health. “Not unlike heart disease, it can be treated right here in our Valley communities.”
Members of the public interested in learning more and supporting family, friends and their community with mental health issues are invited to attend any of these free HealthPartners classes:
- April 10 – Suicide prevention training at Hudson Hospital & Clinic
- April 11 – Make It OK ambassador training at Amery Hospital & Clinic
- April 19 – Webinar: New mom stress or postpartum depression?
MPR presenter John Moe addresses the audience at the Make It OK Community Conversation at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
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About Make It OK
Make It OK is a campaign to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses. Participating organizations have pledged their commitment to change hearts and minds about the misperceptions of mental illnesses by encouraging open conversations and education on the topic.
About Hudson Hospital & Clinic
HealthPartners family of care includes Hudson Hospital & Clinic, serving western Wisconsin with an emergency center, birth center, rehabilitation center, imaging center, specialty clinics, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics and a nationally acclaimed healing arts program. Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) family of health care companies serves 1.4 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide and is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation, providing care, coverage, research and education to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community.