Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Convening on Mental Health

Hearing from communities gives the Otto Bremer Foundation critical understanding of local concerns and challenges. Convenings provide opportunities for Foundation staff, Trustees, and nonprofit and community leaders to connect in ways that do not usually happen in everyday life. These discussions give all involved a chance to hear about pressing issues and emerging problems. In May, Bremer Bank organized a convening in partnership with the St. Cloud Hospital on mental health which was attended by the Otto Bremer Foundation as well as eight providers in the St. Cloud community to understand more about the issue in the St. Cloud area as well as the opportunities related these services.

During the dialogue, we learned about many gaps that exist in the community such as a shortage of psychiatrists, housing, and available services. A common theme was a need for more financial resources, which led the group into an exploration of new partnerships to secure additional funding from national funders.

Convenings further the commitment of the Otto Bremer Foundation to listening and learning. The group is now exploring additional gatherings to focus on ways in which to meet the needs related to mental health.

Kathy Grochow, NRS, St. Cloud

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