"Healthier frontline workers mean healthier communities"

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) is proud to organize a free training for veterans, military, law enforcement, medical staff, first responders, firefighters, corrections, dispatch, and those providing support and care for them in our region.

“The people who care for our communities work with trauma every single day, and it’s important to support them,” said UWNEMN Executive Director Erin Shay. “Healthier frontline workers mean healthier communities.”

Identical Unmasking Mental Health trainings will be held January 16 and 17, 2024, at Iron Trail Motors Event Center in Virginia. The days have been scheduled this way so local departments can send multiple shifts of workers. The training is POST credit approved. Certificates of attendance, outline of objectives, and post-tests will be available to apply for local CEUs.

UWNEMN has partnered with St. Paul-based Wellness That Fits to bring speakers that have lived experience supporting military, police, first responders, or health care workers through trauma and mental health as well as veterans, retired law enforcement, and keynote speaker Dan Sundahl – an advanced care paramedic, pre-hospital educator, and retired firefighter. Sundahl is also an internationally recognized artist and writer who is passionate about reducing the stigma of PTSD for first responders and uses his art to raise awareness of occupational stress injuries worldwide.

Sundahl’s artwork will be on display throughout both days of the training.

UWNEMN Community Impact Coordinator Michelle Lampton manages the organization’s United for Veterans program and attended an Unmasking Mental Health conference last year with many of the same scheduled speakers to learn how UWNEMN could better serve veterans through the program.

“It can be incredibly difficult for people in these lines of work to share their experiences with others from different backgrounds,” Lampton said. “It was remarkable to see the support and connections being built with people who understand each other – and valuable to have breakout spaces to help those of us working in support roles to better understand.”

Learn more about UWNEMN at www.unitedwaynemn.org. Learn more/register for Unmasking Mental Health at www.unitedwaynemn.org/unmaskingmentalhealth.