May is Mental Health Awareness Month; stadium and bridges to glow green

May 20, 2022
I-35W Bridge lit in green

To bring awareness of mental health as a public health issue and to help reduce stigma around mental health, the City has requested green lighting for U.S. Bank Stadium and the I-35W and Lowry bridges, the City is featuring conversations about mental health on City radio programs, and Mayor Frey has issued a proclamation declaring May Mental Health Awareness Month in Minneapolis.

U.S. Bank Stadium will glow green for mental health awareness overnight tonight, Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, and the 35W and Lowry bridges will light up green Saturday, May 21.

Two City radio programs will feature conversations about mental health. After the program, the audio files will be on the City website.

Mayor Frey’s proclamation affirms that mental health conditions are common and treatable. It states that effective intervention and support can save lives and change trajectories for people living with mental illness.

Mental health is a person's general sense of emotional, psychological and cognitive well-being. The World Health Organization defines mental health as: A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to his or her community.

Minneapolis Health Department programs and partnerships support Minneapolis residents’ mental health through services such as:

  • Healthy Living and High-Rise Health Alliance: behavioral help and improving mental well-being for more than 5,000 public housing residents.
  • Contracts with community-based organizations for projects focusing on:
    • Promoting social connectedness.
    • Reducing social isolation.
    • Increasing cultural connection.
    • Addressing trauma.
    • Promoting community resilience and healing.
  • School-based clinics providing mental health support to students.
  • Ongoing training on suicide prevention, the effects of adverse childhood experiences on mental health, and the connection between mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Mobile behavioral crisis responders dispatched through 911 to emergency mental health situations.
  • The Community Health Improvement Partnership with Hennepin County addressing community mental well-being, trauma and healing, and addressing housing stability through increased social connectedness.

Reducing the stigma around mental health conditions

Stigma around depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, trauma and other mental health conditions can cause feelings of shame and prevent people from getting the help they need. These tips help everyone talk about mental wellness in a stigma-free way:

  • Taking certain words out of vocabularies. Crazy, nutty, head case, lunatic, psycho, schizoid and similar words reinforce stereotypes, label human beings and minimize the importance of understanding mental health conditions.
  • Using the fact-based “lives with,” “is diagnosed with” or “has” instead of “afflicted with” or “suffers from” a mental illness.
  • Using a person-first approach. People are not their diagnoses. Example: Instead of “a schizophrenic person,” saying “a person living with schizophrenia” or “someone diagnosed with schizophrenia.”

Resources for mental wellness and crisis

People in crisis and seeking help for mental wellness, and their loved ones, are not alone. Here are some existing and upcoming resources:

  • Minnesota warmline: a safe, anonymous and confidential way to connect with people.
    Call 877-404-3190 or text “Support” to 85511 noon-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): help finding resources for those with and without insurance.
    Call 1-888-NAMI-HELPS or 1-888-626-4435.
  • CRISIS text line: a free, 24/7 phone line for those experiencing a mental health crisis.
    Adult services: Call 612-596-1223.
    Child services: Call 612-348-2233.
    Mobile phone: Call **CRISIS (274747) or text “MN” to 741741.
  • 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Once it opens July 16, people will be able to call, text or chat a new three-digit dialing code to reach trained counselors.
    Call, text or chat 988.
    Starts July 16.