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Northland group promoting mental health awareness with several events

DULUTH, MN — May is mental health awareness month, and one Duluth based organization is using the month to shake the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

The group is called Northland Healthy Minds says their goal is to raise awareness of mental health resources in the workplace, schools and the community.

They have a number of events planned for the month of May including an art exhibit opening Thursday at Zeitgeist.

The exhibit is called What Mental Illness Feels Like. The opening will be held Thursday, May 2nd from 5-7p.m.

The exhibit will feature Barb Kellogg’s photography, which aims to create a connection with the viewer and decrease stigma around mental health.

“These are your neighbors, these are your friends, your family, your coworkers. Having that face to an illness, no different than if you were diabetic, is important,” said Kellogg.

The art will remain on display through May 15.

In their second year, Northland Healthy Minds is a collaborative of approximately 50 area businesses.

Here’s a closer look at some of Northland Healthy Mind’s highlight events happening during Mental Health Awareness Month:

-Free Fridays at the Duluth YMCA will be happening during the month of May. The Duluth YMCA is offering free use of its facilities to the public every Friday in May except Friday, May 24. There will also be family-friendly events happening on these days. For more information call 218-722-4745.

-Documentary screenings of Call Me Mental, followed by a discussion, on Tuesday, May 7 from 7-9 p.m. at Zeitgeist. Six short documentaries will be shown, followed by a discussion with one of the filmmakers David Cowardin, and Dr. Carolyn Phelps, PhD, LP, of Dreamlife Psychological Services.

-Wear Green Day will be Thursday, May 9, and everyone is invited to participate. Wear green to show your support and reduce the stigma of mental illness. Snap a picture and send it to, or post on social media with the hashtag #MakeItOKNorthland. As part of the day, Enger Tower will be lit green in the evening.

-A free community dinner and mental health resource fair and program featuring musician Sam Miltich will be held Tuesday, May 14, at Denfeld High School. Miltich is a Grand Rapids, Minn. native and his show, The Improvised Life: Exploring Intersections of Mental Health and Creativity Through Jazz, will include a jazz guitar performance and discussion around mental illness. The resource fair and dinner begin at 5:30 p.m., with Sam Miltich taking the stage at 6:30 p.m. For information about free childcare at this event, email

Click here for the full calendar of events

Reporter Anthony Matt

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