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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

What else kids are learning in school

Published in Behavioral Health Services, For the Health of It Author: Shawn Franklin, MSN, BSN, RN

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” We know words can hurt — especially at a young age. Statistics show that about one in four kids in the U.S. are bullied on a regular basis.

Bullying can be:

  • Verbal — name-calling and threats
  • Social — spreading rumors or public embarrassment
  • Physical — hurting the victim’s body or damaging possessions

Bullying has recently become more pervasive and difficult for victims to escape through the emergence of cyberbullying, which takes place electronically and follows children home.

Children who are bullied are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other health complaints — even into adulthood. They also are more likely to miss or drop out of school and see their GPA and test scores drop. In rare cases, bullied children have been known to react violently.

But bullying doesn’t just affect the child being bullied; children who bully are at a higher risk of engaging in violent and self-destructive behavior through adolescence and into adulthood. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, start sexual activity earlier, be convicted of criminal activity, and be abusive toward partners and children as adults.

Signs that your child may be a victim of bullying include:

  • Frequent or unexplained injuries
  • Lost or damaged property
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Faking illness or frequent headaches or stomachaches
  • Drop in academic achievement
  • Sudden avoidance of friends or social situations

In addition to modeling kindness and respect and maintaining open communication with your child, help him or her to understand what bullying looks like and how to react when it happens. 

Consider discussing these strategies to help keep your children happy and safe:

  • Encourage children to stay near adults or in a group of friends.
  • Encourage children to report bullying to a trusted adult.
  • Discuss how to safely stand up to bullies by using humor, clearly and confidently saying “Stop,” and walking away from the situation if these strategies do not work.
  • Encourage children to get help or show kindness when they see another child being bullied.
  • Report to police or school authorities if bullying has escalated and is endangering your child.