Northland now part of national campaign on mental health

By KBJR News 1

May 19, 2014 Updated May 19, 2014 at 9:12 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Northlanders are now taking part in a national conversation about mental health, which President Obama began last summer.

Several mental health organizations came together to host a community forum in Duluth to find better ways to address the needs of those living with mental illnesses.

Speakers at the event say people must check any negative attitudes about mental illnesses at the door and treat the illnesses as they would any other.

"People with mental illnesses experience a lot of discrimination because people don't understand you can't just pull yourself out of it. So providing empathy and those kind of community supports that we get for all the other illnesses I think is really important," said Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota.

Keynote speakers at the event say people live with their symptoms an average of ten years before seeking help, and over 600 people in Minnesota commit suicide each year.

The national campaign seeks to change that, and make our nation more accepting.