Are you interested in learning more about Canvas Health or give information to people in your care? We are happy to send printed brochures directly to you or your place of business – just send an email request to email@example.com. You also can download a two-page printable brochure here. The downloadable brochure can be emailed or printed.
Registration for the Stomp Out Suicide 5K event is now open! The event will be held on August 18, 2018 at Goodview Park in Wyoming, MN. The Stomp Out Suicide 5K unites families for a day of fun and fitness with a serious purpose—linking people in crisis with help. In 2017, Canvas Health proudly became the host and benefiting charity of the event.
Register and learn how to form a team at www.StompOutSuicide.org.
The Stomp Out Suicide 5K was created out of love and hope in memory of Alissa M. Haines of Wyoming, Minnesota. Alissa was lost to suicide on December 29th, 2011. Alissa suffered in silence. Our goal with the Stomp Out Suicide event is to reach others like Alissa, and to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
Proceeds of the event will support Canvas Health’s mental health, substance use, and crisis services, including Minnesota’s suicide prevention phone and text lines.
Spanish-speaking community members: Please join us at the Familias Unidas Program, beginning Tuesday, February 7 from 6-8 p.m. at Canvas Health’s Richfield location (1550 East 78th Street; Richfield, MN 55423). This is a 13-week program for families facilitated in Spanish by CLUES providers that provides education on chemical health and mental health topics to support families and reduce stigma. The sessions are free-of-charge and include a light dinner. Click on the links for more information: Familias Unidas Flyer and CLUES Brochure.
As a counselor, Jennifer Peace lives up to her name. Since 2012, Jennifer has been volunteering for the Crisis Connection phone counseling service of Canvas Health, gently turning fear and despair into a peaceful path of healing. Her outstanding dedication and caring talent led Canvas Health to honor Jennifer with the Dee Nord Community Call Center Volunteer of the Year Award.
Jennifer started as a Crisis Connection intern while earning her bachelor’s degree in social work from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. Her internship was completed in 2013, but her commitment to the Crisis Connection did not quit. She has continued her weekly shifts taking callers, while finishing her master’s degree in social work in spring 2016. On top of her academic and volunteer work, she is a mother and has a full-time job. At last count, Jennifer has donated 864 hours to the Crisis Connection!
Jennifer Peace “treats every conversation with the utmost respect and care,” says Jennifer Baker, Canvas Health Volunteer and Intern Coordinator. She can “de-escalate clients in a way that’s comforting and constructive.” She empowers clients to find their coping skills. As appropriate, she suggests how clients may take their next steps.
Jennifer does not rush through her work, giving clients the time they need, and makes sure her client reports are accurate and detailed. “Even though her shift ends at midnight, if Jennifer is in the middle of a text conversation she stays to complete that conversation,” said Baker.
One supervisor noted that Jennifer always wants to learn more about her clients, as well as her fellow counselors. She also has a great sense of humor, bringing spunk and camaraderie to her work, and Canvas Health was proud to bestow Jennifer Peace with this important award.
The Dee Nord Community Call Center Volunteer of the Year Award was created in 2008 to honor Dee, a volunteer for over 30 years at our Crisis Connection call center who helped individuals by exhibiting consistent, compassionate care on the crisis line. The award honors a current volunteer at Crisis Connection who has demonstrated outstanding service to the agency. The recipient is recommended by the call center supervisors based on the volunteer’s performance and contributions to the call center throughout the year.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our board member, supporter, and friend Jim Trevis. Jim’s kindness, humor, and giving spirit will be missed by all of the lives he touched and those he will continue to impact as his legacy lives on. Click here to read Jim’s obituary.
The Canvas Health Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Eastwood, PhD, MPA, LMFT as the new Canvas Health Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1, 2015.
Matt has been a key member of Canvas Health’s executive leadership team since 2011 and will take over for Mark Kuppe, who has led the organization with distinction for eight years. Mark led Canvas Health from a Washington County human service organization to a thriving mental and chemical health agency serving the greater Twin Cities area. The agency also offers statewide services through Crisis Connection and TXT4Life.
“Matt is an exceptional leader,” said Bob Johnson, Chair of Canvas Health’s Board of Directors. “Since joining Canvas Health, Matt has distinguished himself as a highly talented, inspiring and energetic leader whose creativity and positive attitude are among his greatest strengths. His proven record in transforming our operations as a growing agency is extraordinary. Matt was chosen in a competitive selection process from a strong field of candidates. He is known for his supportive leadership style and for building a high performance operations team.”
As Chief Operating Officer for the organization, Matt has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of Canvas Health. His accomplishments include aligning the clinical and business operations of the company with the mission, vision, and strategic plans for the organization.
Matt previously held director level positions with HealthPartners Medical Group and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. He has extensive mental and chemical health clinic management experience, and has been a licensed mental health professional in Minnesota since 1992. Matt completed his PhD at Purdue University, and received a Master’s of Public Affairs degree from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
“Matt is an excellent choice for the agency,” said Kuppe. This is a great opportunity for Matt and an excellent opportunity for our organization. I am personally delighted to be handing over the reins to such an outstanding leader. In an effort to make this transition seamless for the organization, I look forward to working with Matt on this transition as he enters into his new role for September.”
“I am honored and excited to have been selected to lead Canvas Health,” said Eastwood. “This is an agency with a rich tradition and history of providing exceptional care to the people we serve. The breadth and depth of our programming is second to none, and positions us very well for the challenges and opportunities we will face in a changing and evolving health care world. The agency’s staff members are the key to our success and the engine that drives us forward. I look forward to continuing to work and grow with them as we strive together to bring to life the agency mission of bringing hope, healing, and recovery to the people we serve,” he said.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work for Mark these past four years. To say that I have learned a lot and grown professionally while working for him would be an understatement. His contributions to mental health treatment, to community mental health, and more recently to suicide prevention, are beyond measure. And while he may be retiring from Canvas Health, it is my belief that we have not heard the last of Mark’s contributions to the field of mental health, and I certainly look forward to any opportunities I might have to work with him in the future. Filling the shoes of a great mentor and friend will be no easy task. Mark’s support, and that of my colleagues, has helped me reach this landmark in my career. I thank them and will work my hardest to reward their trust and faith in me,” Eastwood concluded.
Canvas Health is dedicated to bringing hope, healing and recovery to people’s lives. Each year Canvas Health programs serve more than 8,500 children, adolescents, adults and elderly challenged with debilitating aspects of mental illness, chemical misuse, aging, or physical and sexual abuse. Additional Canvas Health programs and services include: Crisis Connection, which answers 45,000 crisis calls annually; Homeless Youth Outreach, providing assistance with housing, employment and referrals to over 300 homeless youth; and Abuse Response Services, developing positive relationship and anti-bullying education for over 11,700 students.
Endowment fund contributions are welcome in honor of Mark Kuppe’s four decades of service to the organization; tax-deductible checks can be made out to Canvas Health and sent to Canvas Health Development Department at 7066 Stillwater Boulevard, Oakdale, MN 55128 or at CanvasHealth.org/DonateNow.
CONNECT Chemical Health Action Collaborative is hosting a community education opportunity, “Marijuana Mayhem”. The presentation will be held at the Eagle Valley Golf Course in Woodbury on Feb. 10, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a light dinner.
For more information, click here.
Canvas Health is a member of the Chemical Health Action Collaborative, which is a Washington county-wide coalition working to prevent and reduce youth chemical use through partnership, education, intervention and community change.
“Our organization is grounded on the belief that the vitality and stability of our communities rests on the strength of the individuals and families within them,” said Mark Kuppe, chief executive officer of Canvas Health. “When those who experience traumatic events in their life are helped to heal and live more freely from their past, we are all lifted up. This is so important for victims/survivors of sexual abuse, whether in Church ministry or our broader community.”
The Woodbury, Stillwater Sunrise, and Stillwater Noon Rotary Clubs joined efforts to raise funds to assist and serve the needs of Washington County’s homeless youth population. As a result of the clubs’ efforts, Canvas Health’s Homeless Youth Program will receive more than $18,000 of funding to continue its services.
“The Woodbury Rotary Club takes great pride in focusing on projects and programs serving all youth within Woodbury and throughout Washington County. With our passion for community service, all members actively participate in programs and projects, persevering until they are completed,” said Alan Henaman, Woodbury Rotary Club President.
According to Pam Johnson, who oversees Canvas Health’s Homeless Youth Outreach program, the Rotary donation will be life-changing for the program’s local youth ages 16-21 and will be used to connect program participants to resources for food, clothing and shelter, allowing them to stay in school, get a job and ultimately reach independence.
“It’s apparent that the Rotary Club members who have raised funds to make this donation have a deep commitment to our communities, our youth and social change – not just through their sharing of resources, but through a transformative process in helping homeless and at-risk homeless youth find stability and a future,” Johnson said.
“Rotarians look for ways to make communities stronger and lives better through personal and financial support. It is clear to us that helping young people who are without stable housing and support systems is a critical community need. We believe Canvas Health is the right organization to assist in making that change and are pleased to have provided some financial assistance in this endeavor,” said Beverly Driscoll, Stillwater Noon Rotary Immediate Past President.
Stillwater Sunrise Rotary President Steve Madsen praised Canvas Health’s thoughtful connections of homeless youth to appropriate resources. “When youth are referred to Canvas Health by community support service staff, teachers or other caring adults, the youth are met with genuine, caring people who help them find solutions to the problems causing their homelessness and also help them find a place to stay,” Madsen said. “The Stillwater Sunrise Rotary is proud to support this kind of practical, essential community service.”
The Rotary Clubs of Woodbury and Stillwater are a part of a worldwide organization of business, professional, and community leaders united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.
The Rotary Club of Woodbury serves the communities of South Washington County including Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Newport and St. Paul Park and is part of Rotary District 5960. The Woodbury Rotary Club Breakfast Meetings are held at 7 a.m. on Thursdays at the café on the lower level of Stonecrest. For more information on the Woodbury Rotary Club contact Cork Wicker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stillwater Sunrise Rotary has been serving the surrounding community for the past 30 years. We meet at Joseph’s Family Restaurant every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. The group touts itself as a fun and dynamic group, and always welcomes visitors and new additions. If you are interested in membership, please contact Jack Gibbons at email@example.com.
The Stillwater Noon Rotary Club has enjoyed a lively membership ever since 1919. We meet every Thursday at 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Lowell Inn Banquet Center in downtown Stillwater. Parking is available next door at the parking ramp and attendees can ask for a parking pass from the front desk of the Lowell Inn. Visitors and fellow-Rotarians from other clubs are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information about the Stillwater Rotary Club contact Molly O’Rourke at Molly.ORourke@co.washington.mn.us.
Canvas Health’s Homeless Youth Outreach Program offers outreach and engagement, reunification with family/kinship, scattered site housing, connection to resources for food and clothing, employment search and assistance, lessons on financial responsibility, connections to health and dental care, truancy prevention, assistance with higher education, connections to shelters, and is currently recruiting for Host Homes. The Canvas Health Homeless Youth Outreach Coordinator can be reached at (612) 695-8183.
Contributions are welcome for the Homeless Youth Program; tax-deductible checks can be made out to Canvas Health and sent to Canvas Health Development Department at 7066 Stillwater Boulevard, Oakdale, MN 55128 or online at CanvasHealth.org/DonateNow.
By Bob Shaw — Pioneer Press —
The first time Chantal Bjorklund tried to kill herself, she was in seventh grade.
One month later, she tried again.
When she was 31, she tried again.
Today, at 34, the Newport woman is a living testimonial for suicide prevention. She speaks at meetings and conferences and works to prevent others from killing themselves.
She says that she owes her life to Canvas Health, an Oakdale-based nonprofit that offers suicide-prevention and other programs.
Listeners find her story revealing. Bjorklund challenges many myths about suicide — including that families are a suicidal person’s best source of support and that suicidal feelings can be cured.
After years of hiding her urges, she is blunt about them today.
“I want to remove myself from the world without hurting anyone. If I could do that, I would,” she said after a recent speech in Edina.
But with her new coping skills and weekly counseling, she says she relishes life.
“I am not ‘happy-oh-so-happy-celebration.’ But I am more content now,” she said. “I can’t imagine wanting to die.”
In 1991, Bjorklund moved from Sauk Rapids, Minn., to Hastings.
She left a school where she was a “big fish in a small pond” for a school where she felt ignored and picked on.
She had low self-esteem and was overweight, problems that dog her to this day.
She was depressed. “It is like being in the deepest dark hole of doom,” Bjorklund said. “Unless you have been there, it’s not something you can understand.”
The 12-year-old girl quietly reached a decision. “I was carrying around that burden that I did not want to live,” she said.
She took 10 Advil pills. She recovered on her own and kept the episode secret.
A month later, she took 200.
A sister found her in the bathroom, and she was rushed to a hospital. After the medical crisis passed, she was moved to a psychiatric ward.
That’s when the consequences of her act began to boil around her. “After two days, I was begging to go home. I was apologizing,” she said.
She was dreaming of home as an inviting place to rest and recover. “I anticipated going home to open arms, to people who would be grateful to see me.”
That didn’t happen.
“The family was absolutely devastated and angry,” Bjorklund said.
“They said, ‘This will hurt us. You can’t do this to us.’ ”
Her family members, she said, were focused on their own pain. They didn’t understand that suicide victims are in such pain that they can’t see pain in others.
Some of them accused her of cowardice.
“I heard people say this is a chicken—t way out of life. They said it was selfish,” Bjorklund said.
“It scared them to not understand. They were worried about setting me off. So I started isolating myself.”
She began “self-medicating” with alcohol when she was 18.
Extreme mood swings plagued her. “It means you can’t cope with normal things. The highs are too high, and the lows are too low.”
As the years passed, she carried a secret — she still yearned for death.
The third suicide attempt came three years ago, in a bar. “I basically tried to drink myself into oblivion,” she said.
“There was no more hiding it. The beast inside was erupting,” she said.
This time, she called a suicide-prevention hotline. Soon, she was at the Oakdale clinic of Canvas Health.
Immediately, she experienced something foreign to her. “From the moment I walked in, I said, ‘What is that feeling?’ ” she recalled.
“Oh. That is hope.”
She began a series of sessions and interviews. “No one was judging me, and no one was looking down. I could say whatever was on my mind and tell the truth with no repercussions.
“I would leave there feeling lighter. I could stand up straight.”
The advice she gives her audiences in her presentations is unequivocal.
“Do not rely on your family. They can’t separate the person from the condition.
“They can’t be objective. They care about you too much.”
She has not been “cured” of her suicidal thoughts, the way someone can get over a cold.
But she has developed ways to cope. One involves a four-second breathing cycle to deal with stress. “Another is doing the opposite of whatever you are feeling. If you feel like shutting the blinds and getting off the phone, then you need to do the opposite.”
She sees a counselor weekly for “maintenance sessions.”
Bjorklund still has bad days, she said, but they seem different now.
“I am not necessarily where I want to be. But I know I am never going back there.”