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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

Making Your Mental Health a Priority

Published in Behavioral Health Services, For the Health of It, Suicide Prevention Author:

Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It helps you to be a better friend, parent, worker and partner.

This month, health care organizations across Minnesota are uniting to promote the importance of connection and mental well-being.

Each week has a new theme. This week's is Connect With Yourself. To see the additional messages being developed to get the word out about this important topic, use the hashtag #StayConnectedMN on Facebook and Twitter.

To help you Connect With Yourself, think about your needs and ask yourself if you are meeting them. Consider making a daily checklist of things you like to do that help you feel well. Your list is for you and can include anything from calling a friend and eating balanced meals to dancing to your favorite song.

To download a sample checklist, review the Minnesota Department of Health's COVID-19 Wellness Guide. (PDF)

Although developed with the particular stresses of this pandemic in mind, this list can be a helpful guide for any day.

Through a series of questions, the checklist asks you questions about how you have taken care of yourself, what is stressing you and some ideas for personal reflection.

Some example questions from this checklist include:

Daily Personal Care:

  • Did I sleep at least seven hours last night?
  • Did I do 30 minutes of fast walking or other moderate activity?
  • Did I recharge from work with music, meditation, talking to someone, etc.?

Stress Check-Up:

  • Do I feel irritated, angry, in denial, uncertain, nervous or anxious?
  • Do I feel tried or that everything is too much?

Ways to Cope With Stress and Grief:

  • Did I practice breathing and relaxation skills? Or take part in religious or spiritual activities?
  • Did I focus on what I can control?

Daily Journal Ideas:

  • What was the hardest thing for me today?
  • What do I feel good about today?
  • What inspired me today?
  • What do I need to start again tomorrow?

This checklist is one way you can prioritize your mental health and well-being. Your mental health and well-being are important.

Recognize that there will be good days and bad days. Anticipate situations and be prepared as best you can. And don't hesitate to reach out for support from a friend or family member when you need it.