News & Information


Max Nesterak · May 21, 2019 - As a Minneapolis shelter that was designed to temporarily house people from the state's largest tent encampment gets ready to close, about 50 individuals are still living there. But most, like Artemis Griffin, have an apartment lined up. […] Unlike typical shelters across the state, people were not turned away for being high or drunk, they could come and go 24 hours a day, and they were not separated by gender which allowed people to stay with their partners and adult family members. The navigation center was also different from typical shelters in Minnesota by providing "wrap-around services" — health care, mental health treatment and support with finding housing.


David Brancaccio · May 20, 2019 - Neuroscientists and gerontologists see evidence that people aging normally can become more vulnerable to financial exploitation. Con artists, fraudsters, and in many cases, family, friends and caregivers take money from seniors through the abuse of trust. Marketplace host David Brancaccio and his team have identified fraud victims and their families from coast to coast who have been willing to tell their stories.


MPR News Staff · May 16, 2019 - MPR's mental health reporter Alisa Roth gives the keynote address at a Hamline University conference on the "Criminalization of Mental Illness." Roth told the audience there is a mental health crisis in our courts, jails and prisons.
"We make mental illness into a crime," Roth said. "Our criminal justice system has also become our de facto mental health care system." Roth is the author of a new book based on her research, "Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness."

After Roth’s keynote address, she answered audience questions presented by Jillian Peterson, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University.


Tom Crann, Kyle Shiely, Megan Burks · May 15, 2019 - Anne Spaeth, founder of The Lynhall, talked to MPR News host Tom Crann about wellness in food service, an industry disproportionately impacted by poor mental health and substance use.  As part of Mental Health Month, service workers are gathering at The Lynhall in South Minneapolis to take part in the Nourish Series.


Angela Davis, Karen Zamora · May 15, 2019 - One in five teenagers and young adults lives with a mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Half develop the condition by age 14, and three-fourths by age 24. MPR host Angela Davis speaks with a psychologist and a youth educator to lend some advice for parents and offer tools for students on how to navigate their mental health.
Liz Babkin is a parent and youth educator for NAMI Minnesota and coordinator of Ending the Silence. Babkin also shares her experience living with anxiety, what her day-to-day life was like before seeking treatment, and what it was like transitioning from high school to college.
Dr. Lisa Herman Lovelace is a clinical psychologist and founder of Synergy eTherapy, she is also involved with Allina Health's Change to Chill program.


Steve Seel · May 15, 2019 - Editor's note: As part of our Call to Mind initiative, classical host Steve Seel shares how classical music is a lifeline to mental health in the first of three essays.

Part 1: Mental health and music touch all of us

Mental health and music touch all of us — so why is the former still so hard to talk about?

This month, I'm sharing how music is one of the greatest resources we have in sustaining — or mending — our personal mental health. And as a classical music on-air host, surrounded by amazing and profound music on a daily basis, I feel like I'm in a unique position to understand this.


Tom Crann, Dr. Jon Hallberg, Megan Burks · May 14, 2019 - You can start the conversation about mental health with your primary care physician, but when is it time for you or your doctor to take the next step and book an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist? Dr. Jon Hallberg, medical director of the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic, talks to MPR News host Tom Crann about when primary care doctors are likely to refer you to a mental health specialist.


Alisa Roth · Minneapolis · May 14, 2019 - Becky Aranda recalls the mental health challenges of her son, the man accused of throwing a 5-year-old over a third-story railing at the Mall of America last month.


Tim Nelson · May 13, 2019 - Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said on Monday the state is joining dozens of others in suing generic drug manufacturers over prices. The lawsuit alleges that nearly two dozen drug companies reached tacit agreements to divide up the drug market and push prices higher to increase revenue. Generic drugs are copies of name-brand medications, which are often prescribed as lower cost alternatives.


Angela Davis · May 13, 2019 - Jenifer Lewis doesn't hold anything back. Her biography "The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir" details her struggles with bipolar disorder and sex addiction. She also talks about the joys of success and fame.


Classical Music Features · May 10, 2019 - Welcome to the Daily Download, a handpicked, free, downloadable piece of classical music available every weekday. This week, we're featuring the most beautiful thing you will hear all day — part of our Call to Mind initiative for Mental Health Month.


Jay Gabler, Jade · May 9, 2019 - Latest episode of The Current's Music News podcast.

Among their topics, Jay and Jade discuss a new study of 1,500 independent musicians that finds that less than one-fifth of them think the music industry is working to improve mental health conditions. The need is great: previous studies have found that musicians are especially vulnerable to mental health challenges, with 80% of young musicians reporting some form of mental health issue and musicians in general experiencing depression at three times the rate of the general population.


Kirsti Marohn · St. Cloud, Minn. · May 9, 2019 - CentraCare Health provides treatment and medication to inmates in Stearns and Benton county jails. Patients can continue being treated at a community clinic after they're released. A little over a year old, it's already showing promise in reducing costly jail and ER visits.


MPR News Staff · May 9, 2019 - Many white parents have never learned how to talk about race and racism with their kids. Their silence perpetuates racism — but it can be hard to know how to start. This hour-long program is about talking to white kids about race and racism: how white parents, families and teachers can learn to show up for racial justice in a way that will make a difference for generations to come. The show explores a wide variety of approaches with kids of all ages.

The host of "Can We Talk" is Dr. Anne Hallward, a psychiatrist in Maine. From Safe Space Radio and WBUR.


Classical Music Features · May 9, 2019 - Welcome to the Daily Download, a handpicked, free, downloadable piece of classical music available every weekday. This week, we're featuring the most beautiful thing you will hear all day — part of our Call to Mind initiative for Mental Health Month.


Tom Crann, Dr. Jon Hallberg, Megan Burks · May 8, 2019 - Long waits for an appointment and pop culture stereotypes of lying on a couch are enough to turn many off from seeking mental health services. But, Dr. Jon Hallberg, medical director of the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic, says it can be as easy as talking to your primary care physician.


Classical Music Features · May 8, 2019 - Welcome to the Daily Download, a handpicked, free, downloadable piece of classical music available every weekday. This week, we're featuring the most beautiful thing you will hear all day — part of our Call to Mind initiative for Mental Health Month.


May 8, 2019 - This hour-long program is about loneliness: what it is, why so many of us feel it, and the surprising toll loneliness takes on our physical and mental health. The health effects of chronic loneliness are akin to smoking 15 cigarettes every day — it literally shortens our lives. Yet it can feel vulnerable to name it when we feel lonely.

Host Dr. Anne Hallward combines compelling storytelling with practical expert guidance to give listeners the tools they need to start their own courageous conversations. From the "Can We Talk" series by Safe Space Radio. Produced by public radio station WBUR in Boston.

Jeyca Maldonado-Medina · St. Paul · May 8, 2019 - Seeking mental health treatment may seem like an intimidating, confusing process at first. However, it is possible, and this guide can help you get started.


Tiffany Hanssen, Kelly Gordon · May 7, 2019 - Next month, the first and only FDA-approved treatment for postpartum depression will hit the market in the U.S. It's needed. Up to 1 in 7 women experiences depression after her baby's birth — making it one of the most common complications of pregnancy. The drug offers almost immediate relief. Some women reported a mood change in as little as 48 hours — a huge improvement over the current treatment of conventional antidepressants, which can take a month or more to kick in. But, the new drug brings its own set of hurdles.
Tiffany Hanssen speaks with Dr. Elizabeth LaRusso, a psychiatrist with The Mother Baby Center at Allina Health and Dr. Helen Kim, director of the Hennepin Healthcare Mother-Baby Program


May 7, 2019 - So often, conversations regarding healthy eating go straight to health matters below the neck - things like weight management, heart health, managing cholesterol and diabetes.  But some doctors believe that we should be focused on feeding what’s above the neck – our brains.  Dr. Drew Ramsey calls himself a nutritional psychiatrist. He’s an avid researcher of the connection between food, brain function, and mental health at Columbia University – and he’s a farmer. Contributor Shauna Sever spoke to Dr. Ramsey about his work and how we can work more brain-boosting foods into our diet.


Classical Music Features · May 7, 2019 - Welcome to the Daily Download, a handpicked, free, downloadable piece of classical music available every weekday. This week, we're featuring the most beautiful thing you will hear all day — part of our Call to Mind initiative for Mental Health Month.


MPR News Staff · May 7, 2019 - Why is it so hard to admit we need help, and how can you help somebody who can't — or won't — ask for it? This hour-long program is about asking for help: why it's so hard to admit when we need something from another person, and the surprising effects that sharing our vulnerability can have on our mental health.

Dr. Anne Hallward is a psychiatrist in Maine. The series is produced by WBUR in Boston.


May 6, 2019 - As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, The Splendid Table is producing two shows focused on the connection of food to mental health. This content is presented in partnership with Call to Mind, a new mental health initiative from American Public Media to foster open conversations about mental health.


Alisa Roth · May 6, 2019 - Attorneys for the plaintiffs in a major class-action lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group argue that the insurer needs to reprocess tens of thousands of claims. In February, a federal judge in California ruled the Minnetonka-based health insurer denied claims for behavioral health care based on overly restrictive guidelines that put profit over patients. Now, in a proposed remedy, the plaintiffs' attorneys want UnitedHealth to adopt new guidelines and take another look.


Tom Crann, Megan Burks · May 6, 2019 - Earlier this year, the University of Minnesota Extension reported that farm income in the state hit its lowest level since it began tracking the figure in 1995. There's little data to show how persistent financial stress is affecting the emotional wellbeing of farmers, but for Don Wick, it's clear. The radio broadcaster and president of the Red River Farm Network is used to putting out calls to farmers for his reporting on agribusiness. Now he's fielding the calls. "I gotta tell you, I'm getting calls from farmers who just want to talk," he told Meg Moynihan, a senior advisor for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, after he interviewed her on farmer mental health. That's when TransFARMation was born. The twice-monthly podcast features farmers talking through how they navigated tough times.


Classical Music Features · May 6, 2019 - Welcome to the Daily Download, a handpicked, free, downloadable piece of classical music available every weekday. This week, we're featuring the most beautiful thing you will hear all day — part of our Call to Mind initiative for Mental Health Month.


MPR News Staff · May 6, 2019 - Psychiatrist Dr. Anne Hallward hosts this series, which focuses on subjects that are hard — but important — to talk about. Today's episode is about apologies and forgiveness.

The program is from the "Can We Talk" series by Safe Space Radio, from WBUR in Boston. Dr. Anne Hallward is a psychiatrist in Maine.


John Birge · May 6, 2019 - Classical MPR gets to the heart of the matter with music that brings you healing, balance and beauty. In fact, it might be the most beautiful thing you'll hear all day. Join Classical MPR host John Birge every weekday at 9 a.m. in May for music specially chosen to make a place for space and grace in your day.


Minneapolis - May 4, 2019 - Kick off mental health awareness month with Call to Mind, MPR’s initiative to foster new conversations about mental health. We’re hosting Call to Mind Live, a free and family-friendly live music and wellness event featuring music and conversation from Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Lydia Liza, and P.O.S. with Fred Child of Performance Today and Andrea Swensson of The Local Show, who will host on-stage conversations with the musicians about how they manage their careers, creativity, and wellbeing. Enjoy live music and real talk, and also join in fun wellness activities, connect with mental health resource groups, get a bite from the food trucks, or visit the Bauhaus Brew Labs tap room for a beer, craft N/A brew, or kombucha.


May 3, 2019 - For The Current’s 9:30 Coffee Break on Oake and Riley in the Morning, what songs do you want to hear that have helped you out by supporting your mental well-being?

Songs played:

Cloud Cult - “Through the Ages”
Bessie Smith - “Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out“
The Weakerthans - "Reconstruction Site”
Ween - “It's Gonna Be (Alright)”
Guided By Voices - “Hold On Hope”
Grateful Dead - “Box of Rain“
Peter Gabriel - “Don't Give Up”


The Associated Press · Chicago · May 3, 2019 - Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has released a plan to spend $100 billion over a decade to improve mental health care and fight substance abuse, an issue the Minnesota senator has faced firsthand as the daughter of an alcoholic who struggled with addiction for years before getting sober. The wide-ranging plan, released Friday, includes funding for early intervention of mental health disorders and drug use, a national suicide prevention campaign, better access to opioid addiction and other types of treatment and recruitment of health care workers to underserved rural areas and cities with the highest need.


Marianne Combs · May 2, 2019 - Art Hounds are members of the Minnesota arts community who look beyond their own work to highlight what's exciting in local art.


David Perry · May 2, 2019 - A few years ago I quit my job as a history professor and moved back to the Twin Cities. It was the right move for my family, but involved turning my back on a decade of teaching and the dream of a tenured full professor job. I also had to quit my Chicago-area band, losing not only the gigs, but the friendships. I knew that in the Twin Cities I'd have lots of other musical friends to jam with, which I did and I do. What I didn't know is that I need the work as well as music in order to be happy…
Read the entire essay


Cathy Wurzer, MPR News Staff · May 1, 2019 - Jenna Erickson first realized she might have borderline personality disorder when she read about it in her high school psychology textbook.

"I was like, okay, so I don't have all of these symptoms yet, but I can totally understand a lot of what they're talking about," she told MPR News host Cathy Wurzer. "And sure enough, it was confirmed later on."

Now, Erickson shares her knowledge of living with mental illness as a public speaker and peer support specialist. She spoke with Cathy Wurzer about her experience, and some of the biggest misconceptions around living with mental illness.



Dan Gunderson · Moorhead, Minn. · May 1, 2019 - The University of Minnesota has established a new rural stress task force to address a wide range of socioeconomic issues. University of Minnesota Extension Dean Bev Durgan said the effort comes in response to the stress on farm families and rural communities brought on by several years of low farm income. "We're losing farms. Main Street is looking different — and [the] Extension's role is to really help people be able to get the information they need and to help them make decisions of what this means for them," Durgan said. The task force has been established to work for one year, but Durgan expects it will be needed for the long term.


May 1, 2019 - The Current is partnering with MPR's Call to Mind initiative to help foster new conversations about mental health. In addition to featuring stories and hosting events, we're also asking you to share any songs that have helped you through mental health conditions, or songs that have supported your mental well-being for a special Radio Free Current on Saturday, May 18, 2019.


Mary Lucia · April 30, 2019 - This week on Listen to Looch, Mary Lucia talks with Sam Choo, content manager at Call To Mind, Minnesota Public Radio's mental-health initiative. Choo stresses that a key to addressing mental-health matters is to simply communicate openly about mental health. "Obviously, some people feel like mental-health discussions are awkward or hard to get into, and they don't need to be hard conversations," he says. "I just say they just need to be real ones. You're just breaking down the emotional barriers to really just talk to somebody and relate about something that's real and affecting people's lives.”


Marianne Combs · Apr 30, 2019 - Are you frightened of ghosts? The answer may depend on your cultural background. A new play looks at two different cultures and the spirits that haunt them. It's called "The Brothers Paranormal," and it's a joint production by Penumbra Theatre and Theater Mu. Penumbra Theatre specializes in stories of the African-American experience; Theater Mu focuses on plays about the Asian-American experience. While the two have collaborated on projects over the years, "The Brothers Paranormal" marks the first time they've co-produced a show. That's partly because it's so rare to find a play that revolves around both communities.


Angela Davis · Apr 24, 2019 - Mindfulness has gone mainstream. Minnesotans are now practicing it in retreat centers, in schools and even at work. Studies show it can ease depression, anxiety and pain — and maybe other conditions as well. Two experts joined MPR News host Angela Davis to talk about mindfulness meditation. They discussed what it is, how to do it and what the research says about how it affects us. Alex Haley is the mindfulness program lead at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, and Maureen Doran is the lead facilitator for mindfulness training at Allina Health's Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. They were also joined for part of the hour by Theresa Glomb, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, who has studied mindfulness in the workplace.


Alisa Roth · Edina, Minn. - April 22, 2019 - A federal judge in a California class action suit says Twin Cities-based UnitedHealth Group wrongly refused to pay mental health treatment costs for tens of thousands of customers. The judge said the insurer restricted coverage to protect its bottom line.


Alisa Roth · Mar 18, 2019 - A new study indicates Minnesota has some of the best access to mental health care in the country, and some of the worst, based on the number of providers per capita in a county.


Alisa Roth · Mar 18, 2019 - The number of deaths in Minnesota caused directly by drinking dropped slightly in 2017 — to 636 people. With a few exceptions, the annual death toll from alcohol has been rising steadily since 2000.


Alisa Roth · Mar 15, 2019 - Gun violence and mental health issues, the two are often linked by politicians, in the media and in the minds of the general public. But a new study from the journal Preventive Medicine says that's not the case.


Alisa Roth · Mar 14, 2019 (updated Mar 15, 2019) - Mental health care in schools, mental health grants for children and adults, and eliminating the use of solitary confinement for people with mental illness are among the bills mental health advocates are pushing in the Legislature this session.


Alisa Roth · Mar 6, 2019 - In what could prove to be a landmark case, a federal judge in Northern California ruled this week that a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group violated its responsibilities to patients with mental health and substance use disorder needs.


Alisa Roth · Feb 26, 2019 - Helping students do better in school, get punished less often and miss fewer days are all things the administration is hoping for — which is why Gov. Tim Walz is asking for more than $4 million a year for children's mental health care in his budget proposal.


Alisa Roth · Feb 21, 2019 - The Washington County attorney will not press charges against the officer who shot a man having a mental health crisis in Stillwater last year.


St Paul, Minn · Feb 18, 2019 - MPR News Political Editor Mike Mulcahy hosted a Call To Mind conversation about why many Minnesota counties report that people are unable to get appropriate mental health care when they need it, and why funding challenges remain a decade after federal mental health parity law was enacted. Mike Mulcahy spoke with Tony Lourey, Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Human Services; Jinny Palen, Executive director at The Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs; and Ezra Golberstein, Associate professor of heath policy and management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health


Alisa Roth · Feb 15, 2019 - Paul Schnell may have spent his career in law enforcement, but he knows mental health. It's a background that will be useful in his new job as corrections commissioner, a post he was appointed to last month by Gov. Tim Walz.


Alisa Roth · St. Paul · Dec 24, 2018 - All of the officers in the St. Paul Police Department are trained in dealing with a mental health crisis. But, non-emergency situations the department coordinates the mental health unit which pairs officers with social workers.


St Paul, Minn · Dec 21, 2018 - MPR News host Angela Davis and three experts on children and mental health discussed how to identify children who need care and how schools, educators, and families can work together to give young people the support and treatment they need. Angela Davis spoke with Christina Gonzalez, Director of student support services at Richfield Public Schools; Renita Wilson, Clinical director at Kente Circle; Eman Abdullahi Licensed School Counselor at Saint Paul Public Schools at a Call To Mind event hosted at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St Paul.


Duluth, Minn · Dec 20, 2018 - The connections between mental well-being and creativity, the arts as a form of communication, coping, and therapy, and musical expression as healing. MPR's Dan Kraker hosted this Ground Level conversation December 4, 2018 at the Duluth Folk School. This community discussion featured jazz guitarist Sam Miltich, and Carolyn Phelps, PhD, a licensed psychologist and founder of Dream Life Psychological Services in Duluth.


Alisa Roth · St. Paul · Dec 19, 2018 - The Department of Human Services is ending a program designed to restore criminal defendants with mental illness to competency to stand trial. DHS says people in the program are taking up much-needed spots in state facilities and that it is not the state's responsibility to get people ready to go to trial.


Alisa Roth · St. Paul · Nov 29, 2018 - The 22-year-old man fatally shot by police in Stillwater last week became the fifth Minnesotan in a mental health crisis shot to death in a police encounter this year. Mental health crises have been a factor in a number of fatal police shootings over the last several years. And Minnesota is no different.


Alisa Roth · St. Paul · Nov 12, 2018 - For about as long as anybody can remember, there haven't been nearly enough psychiatrists, psychologists, or any other mental health care workers. What the perpetual shortage means is that patients face long waits to get treatment, even if they're in a crisis.


Alisa Roth · Nov 8, 2018 - Talk to teachers or police officers about mass shooters and much of the focus is the same: how to stop an attack, whether it's with practice drills, lockdowns or by arming guards.


Minneapolis · Oct 16, 2018 - MPR's Chris Farrell hosted this Conversation on the Creative Economy at the MANOVA Summit, a global gathering at the Minneapolis Convention Center on the future of health and health care. Chris Farrell's guests were Dale Cook, co-founder and chief executive officer of Learn to Live; Aneela Idnani Kumar, co-founder and president of HabitAware; and Grady Hannah, CEO of Nightware. This broadcast was recorded October 9, 2018 at the MANOVA Summit and is part of MPR's mental health initiative — Call to Mind.


Alisa RothMPR News Staff · St. Paul · Oct 11, 2018 - Two Carver County deputies will not face charges for using deadly force against 16-year-old Archer Amorosi as they confronted him outside his mother's home July 13 in Chanhassen, the county attorney said Thursday.


St Paul, Minn · Aug 8, 2018 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported deaths by suicide have increased nationwide 25 percent since 1999. In Minnesota, the report shows a 40-percent increase in suicide, marking the 8th-largest increase. While Minnesota is 38th in overall ranking, the steep increase has public health officials and advocates concerned. MPR News Morning Edition Host Cathy Wurzer hosted Dr. Joseph Bianco from the Essentia Health-Ely Clinic, Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, and Dr. Madhuri Kasat Shors from the University of Minnesota's Community-University Health Care Center.


St Paul, Minn · May 21, 2018 - MPR's Tom Weber hosted an panel discussion event at the Science Museum of Minnesota called "Note to Self." Participants included author and psychiatrist Dr. Henry Emmons, developmental and behavioral pediatrician Dr. Tim Culbert and Atum Azzahir, founder and CEO of the Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis. Musician Manchita performed. They discussed taking control of mental well being through innovative approaches like nutrition, mindfulness, and digital tools, and discussed the role of community and culture in mental health. The event was held May 16th at the Science Museum of Minnesota which was hosting its exhibit called, "Mental Health: Mind Matters."