Warm weather, family outings and free concerts help make summer a carefree time. But not for everyone. Our community is seeing a drastic increase in the need for mental and chemical health services.  Steven Loos, Psy. D, LP, Chief Clinical Officer at Central Minnesota Mental Health Center states “This is a national trend and it can be helpful to understand the “why” and to know what we should be on the lookout for in ourselves, our loved ones, and those with whom we work”.

The Why:

Change is always stressful, but what happens if we change every aspect of our lives? The pandemic did exactly this, with very little notice. Regardless of what field we work in, we saw pervasive change in how and where we do our work. Many of us were forced to use technology, something we have varying levels of comfortability with, to make these modifications. Technology also paved the way for a blurring of lines between the separation of work and home. Many employees found themselves working longer hours, while adjusting to creating working extensively, if not completely, from home. If you have children, you were also tasked with monitoring distant learning and teaching while juggling various work obligations.

Often when we are dealing with times of heighted stress we turn to positive coping skills for relief. Positive coping skills are things that reduce stress, while also improving our overall health. The pandemic also significantly disrupted our access to positive coping skills and socialization. Cut off from these activities, it became increasingly easy to turn to negative coping skills. Negative coping skills can also be stress relieving, in the moment, but have a negative impact on our overall health. Faced with chronic unrelating stress, we saw many individuals turn to substances to make themselves feel better.

Common Symptoms:

  • Depressed Mood
  • Increased Irritability
  • Interpersonal Conflict
  • Change in Appetite
  • Change in Sleep
  • Decreased Motivation
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Feelings of Hopelessness
  • Thoughts of Suicide

Caring for Self and Others

The best place to start is always with yourself. Make sure you are taking care of yourself, as you would a loved one. Self-reflect on what you tend to do when you are at your best mental health. Make efforts to invest enough time and energy into your own wellbeing. Even if you are incredibly busy, taking moments for your own self-care can have far reaching impact.

If you are worried about a friend, loved one, or colleague know it is ok to have the conversation. I find it helpful to let them know that I care about them, that I have noticed some changes, and a sincere offer of support. It can also be helpful to let them know if they are not ready to talk, that you are ready when they are. While we can and should connect, express concern, and offer support, sometimes we do need to seek professional help.

Professional Help

CMMHC strives to create a healing environment for your recovery journey. If these self-care strategies are not enough, we hope you will reach out to us for professional help. CMMHC offers a range of mental health and chemical health services, across the entire life span. Please contact us at 320-252-5010 or visit our website at if you are interested in learning more about our services. CMMHC also knows that sometimes the community needs help outside of business hours and we operate a 24/7 Crisis line at 320-253-5555.



For almost 25 years, our region has benefited from detailed reporting of local economic and business conditions, analyzed by local experts. Most communities don’t enjoy such a luxury, yet we gain from it every three months.

If you’ve never attended a presentation of the St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report, for which the GSDC is a collaborating publisher, this week is a good time to start.

Hosted by King Banaian, Dean of the SCSU School of Public Affairs, and Mana Komai Molle, Chair of the SCSU Dept. of Economics, the presentation will be from 8 – 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, at the Sartell Community Center, 850 19th St. S.

Click here to register.

There is no charge to attend.



The Initiative Foundation’s first-ever Emerging Entrepreneurs Showcase & Awards event on June 20 drew more than 150 people who learned about wonderful services offered in our community by grassroots entrepreneurship.

Awards were presented to Ali Aden, owner of Bridge Healing Center; Lam Chuol, owner of Lam Tax Service, LLC; Ashley Williams, owner of Ashley’s Yummy Rollz; Anisa Hagi-Mohamed, owner of Anisa Hagi LLC; and Antionette Lee, owner of No Limit Painting.

Congratulations to them all!



Nominations for the GSDC’s popular Innovation Awards, entering their 12th year, are now being accepted to recognize originality among for-profit and non-profit organizations located in Benton, Sherburne and Stearns counties.

To date, 57 outstanding organizations have been honored for the difference their creativity makes locally and around the world.

New this year is a category for “Employer of Choice,” to recognize a business that has risen to workforce challenges.

Click here to nominate/apply for either award.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, July 21.


GSDC INVESTOR FEATURE:  W. GOHMAN CONSTRUCTION, the always-updating GSDC resource that highlights our region’s people and opportunities (including several thousand job availabilities), also includes occasional features about our area’s fine businesses.

We invite you to review them all, including a recent article titled “The Family Tradition of W. Gohman Construction,” which begins as follows:

Michael Gohman represents the third generation behind the business, a business his grandfather Willard started in 1950 as a cabinetmaker working out of his backyard shed, eventually working in residential builds and renovations…

Click here to read full story.



Our friends at the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council say Americans will eat 150 million hot dogs on July 4th.

The Council’s news release also indicates that it likes to serve its wieners wrapped in puns:

“Let me be frank,” said National Hot Dog & Sausage Council Hot Dog Top Dog Eric Mittenthal. “Hot dogs make people happy.”


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Contact Our Staff Team

Patti Gartland, President | 320.260.2442

Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director | 320.493.9003

Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director | 320.260.6775

Tammy Campion, Communications & Program Specialist | 320.252.5185

Michelo Muleya, EPIC Coordinator  I  320.252.5203