Tricounty News

Are you stressed?

Mindful meditation can change your life

Learn ways to manage the demands and stress you face in life by participating in an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course from 6-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday evenings, March 18 through May 6 in the Meditation Chapel at CentraCare Health Plaza. Use the Woodlands entrance. There will be an all-day retreat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

This clinically proven program, designed to help you live life with increased contentment, can be especially helpful to those who experience: anxiety and depression, attention deficits, chronic pain and illness, cardiac disease, the demands of care-giving, grief, life transitions, spiritual emptiness and all who find it difficult to establish balance in their everyday lifestyles.

For more information or to register, call Patsy Murphy at (320) 290-2155, or e-mail patsy
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Safety and laundry packets

Single-load liquid laundry packets have become widely available over the past couple of years. Many consumers have found these packets to be an easy and convenient wayW-Deb-Botzek-Linnto wash clothes. However, it is important to remember these powerful packets contain highly concentrated detergent and require the same discipline as common household cleaning products when it comes to safely using, handling and storing.

In 2012, poison control centers received reports of 6,229 unintended exposures to highly-concentrated packets of laundry detergent by children 5 and younger. At a conference I attended, a representative of the American Cleaning Institute shared the sad outcome of a seven-month old who died as a result of chewing on a laundry packet or ‘pod’. She went on to show us how very eye-catching, bright colored and almost candy-like the pods appear.

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March 4: NAMI to present MNsure information

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota will present a free information session on MNsure from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Hope Community Support Program, 157 Roosevelt Road, Suite 300, in St. Cloud.

Participants will learn about health insurance options, value of coverage, options under MNsure, MA expansion, changes to Minnesota Care and the benefits to people living with mental illnesses. For more information, please contact NAMI Minnesota at (651) 645-2948, or (888) NAMI-Helps.

NAMI Minnesota is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families through its programs of education, support and advocacy.

Does disability make a person less valuable?

Lately, I have had a couple of eye-opening experiences about disability. For one, while looking up a number of dictionary definitions for spina bifida, I noticed each called the condition either a “congenital defect” or a “birth defect.”

That hooked me. For further clarification, I looked up the definition of “defect” on Merriam-Webster online. It said a defect was “a physical problem that causes something to be less valuable, effective, healthy, etc.”

The same online dictionary, and others, also defined cleft lip, cleft palate, Down syndrome, and a whole host of heart problems as birth “defects.” The Centers for Disease Control claims that “about one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect.” One website I found had a listing of hundreds of “defects” in people, ranging from deafness and intellectual disabilities to short limbs.

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St. Cloud support group meets Tuesdays

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota sponsors free support groups for families who have a relative with a mental illness. Led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness, the support groups help families develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. A family support group meets in St. Cloud at 7 p.m., on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, at Calvary Community Church, 1200 Roosevelt Road. For information, call Mike at (320) 259-7101, or (320) 492-2024.