St. Thomas is piloting a program of peer-led support for employees (whether faculty or staff) whose dependents have a mental health challenge. The first organizational meeting will be Monday, Oct. 16, from noon-1 p.m. in the Summit Classroom Building, Room 301.

One of the most difficult parts of being a parent or guardian of someone with mental health challenges is finding support for themselves. Although there are programs after working hours offered by organizations such as NAMI, it is hard to take time away from the dependent for one’s own self-care.

It has been proposed that the group will meet over the lunch hour every other week on the St. Paul campus. In addition to offering support, they could also help address stigma around mental health for the St. Thomas community. At the first meeting, the group will discuss the best ways to support employees on both campuses.

Those who are interested in joining or utilizing such a program, please come to the first meeting or contact either Corrine Carvalho, interim dean of the School of Social Work, Jill Manske, chair of the Health and Human Performance Department, or Lucy Payne, associate dean of the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling.

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