In recognition of World Mental Health Day on October 10, it’s essential to shed light on the critical role mental health plays in our overall well-being and to acknowledge the supportive resources available within our community. Here in Dodge County, we understand the importance of mental health and the necessity for its effective care and management. This understanding is mirrored in the strategic partnership between United Way of Dodge County and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which continues to make a significant impact in enhancing our community’s mental health landscape.

Mental health is a universal concern, touching lives irrespective of age, race or socio-economic status. And while mental health issues are widespread, they are not always visible or openly discussed due to associated stigmas. World Mental Health Day presents an opportunity to change this narrative, encourage open conversations and ensure those who need help know where to find it.

In Dodge County, this help is readily available through the cooperative efforts of United Way and NAMI. They offer a variety of resources:

  • Education & Awareness Programs: NAMI’s evidence-based educational programs provide valuable information to individuals living with mental health conditions, their families, and the community at large. NAMI Basics, NAMI Homefront, and NAMI Family-to-Family are among these initiatives, aiming to educate and foster a supportive environment.
  • Support Groups: Providing a safe, confidential space, NAMI’s support groups allow individuals and families affected by mental illness to share their experiences, learn from others, and gain much-needed support. Facilitated by trained individuals with lived experiences, these groups offer both empathy and empowerment. NAMI offers a weekly support group in Kasson, as well on various online groups.
  • Crisis Helplines: Along with the 2-1-1 hotline service provided by United Way, NAMI operates a helpline where individuals in crisis or those who have questions about mental health can find assistance. This confidential service provides a lifeline for individuals when they need it most.
  • Advocacy: Both United Way and NAMI are dedicated to fighting stigma and pushing for public policy changes that benefit people living with mental illness. This advocacy work aims to ensure mental health services are funded, accessible, and a priority at the local, state and national levels.
  • Resources for Schools: NAMI and United Way offer resources for schools to support the mental health of students. The NAMI Ending the Silence program helps middle and high schoolers understand mental health conditions and reduces stigma.

As we mark World Mental Health Day, remember that these resources are available to anyone in need within Dodge County. The United Way and NAMI are steadfast in their commitment to mental health support, fighting the stigma and providing resources that offer help and inspire hope.

Mental health matters, and we’re here to ensure that this message reverberates throughout our community. Together, on this World Mental Health Day, let’s pledge to be more understanding, supportive, and kind towards mental health for a healthier and happier community for all.