Some of these folks I know, and some of them I don’t. That part doesn’t matter so much to me. I’m more interested in what they do for others.
I’m talking about some of the top mental health advocates in Rochester, Minnesota. You might know them. You might not. In a town like this, you’ve probably (at the very least) heard their name before.
We know these people because they’ve eased the pain of someone suffering from mental health struggles.
I took a poll of my friends online, and I asked who they thought were some amazing mental health advocates in our city. The response was awesome!
I should clarify that when I say “mental health advocate” I don’t necessarily mean someone specifically trained in therapy or psychiatric care. To me, a “mental health advocate” is anyone who supports and champions mental health care for all and is kind to anyone suffering those struggles.
These are just some of the names that popped up pretty often.
- THE James Rabe: I worked with this man for two years, shared an office with him, and have known him personally for almost three years. He’s literally the guy that drove me to the ER in the middle of one of my worst anxiety attacks that brought on suicidal ideation. He really did bring me to St. Mary’s that day. I got the help I needed that dark summer because of his kindness. It was the first step toward a summer of therapy and recovery. Mental health advocacy is a passion of his. He’s also heavily involved in NAMI as well.
- Sheila Terrill: Sheila is a Mayo Clinic trained wellness coach. If she knows you’re hurting, you can bet she’ll be one of the first people in touch with you to show that they care, and she’ll check on you the next day to see how you’re doing. Yep. You guessed it. She’s actually done that for me.
- Chris Armstrong: Rosei Skipper (a mental health supporter in her own right) highly recommends this woman. She explains that Chris is, “a wonderful yoga teacher and therapist!” Chris has also been super kind toward me, and has graciously followed me online for some time now.
- Bekkie Hart: Bekkie and I have a lot in common. We both love music, and support live music in our city. We both also take pride in sharing our mental health journey with others pubicly. What’s better than that!?
- Dr. Wall: A lot of my Facebook friends said kind things about this man. Hio bio explains, “Dr. Wall received his medical degree from the University of North Dakota in 2000 and completed his Adult Psychiatric training at Mayo Clinic. He completed a subsequent fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Mayo Clinic and joined the permanent staff in 2005. Since joining the staff, his clinical work has been focused on the evaluation and treatment of severe mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders in children and adolescents.” You can find him here.
This list certainly doesn’t cover every kind and open hearted person in Rochester that is willing to support you on your mental health journey, or support you through a struggle – but it’s a start.
Want to be a mental health advocate? Just be welcoming. Just be supportive. Just listen. It really is that simple.
If you or someone you know is really struggling and experiencing suicidal ideation, reaching out to the people listed above is a great idea locally. Nationally, check out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.