Back to School Updates! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

September 2020 

Back to School Mental Health Tips

As we begin the new academic year, parents, students, teachers, and school staff are faced with uncertainty and worry.  Whether you are starting school in-person, online, or in a hybrid model, there are added challenges that can affect your mental health.  Click here to read our newest blog for tips from FamilyMeans clinicians on how to support your mental health during this challenging time.

FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy can help to support the mental health of individuals and families no matter what challenges the new school year brings. Visit or call us at 651-439-4840 to learn more and get started today. 

Did you know that FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy provides school-based mental health services in 5 school districts on both sides of the St. Croix River?

Stillwater 834
North St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale 622
New Richmond

Supporting the mental health of students is more important now than ever before.


FamilyMeans Youth Development
is the beneficiary of an Eagle Scout Project

Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Reeh, of Troop 9132 at Church of St. Michael in Stillwater, constructed two angular benches to enhance the outdoor seating space the FamilyMeans Youth Center in Cimarron, Lake Elmo. The Youth Development program offers free, year-round programming for the underserved K-12 residents of this community. Although proposed before Covid-19, these two seating structures are beautiful additions to the outdoor space necessary for following public health guidelines during youth sessions. Thank you to Ryan and his supporters!


Doorstep Birthday

Kitty the Cat

Caregiving & Aging Doorstep Respite

The FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging program continues to provide caregiver support services including coaching and consultation, support groups, education, and more virtually.

Pre-COVID, FamilyMeans volunteers provided in-home respite services to over 50 families, and group respite to over 20 more. Our staff and volunteers continue to support these individuals with check-in phone calls, activity kits, and doorstep respite connections.

Shaletta Brundidge, Caregiving & Aging client, shared this photo of a doorstep greeting to “Papa B”! FamilyMeans staff and volunteers surprised him with a song and special treats for his birthday in August!

Another Caregiving & Aging client shared this photo of FamilyMeans’ animated companion cat snuggled up with the client's family member. We have three animated cats and an animated dog that are lent to clients, bringing so much joy!

Our social workers, educators, and dementia experts are eager to help you and your family work though the many challenges that come with caregiving. Contact us today at 651-439-4840!


Arba-Della & Morgan In-Front of Art Piece

Dedication at the Center

Art Installed Dedicated to
Arba-Della Beck’s 24 Years of Leadership

For Arba-Della Beck’s retirement, FamilyMeans commissioned an original textile woven by local fibers artist Morgan Clifford. The three geometric panels hang in the Desch Room, the main conference room in the front of the FamilyMeans building. Its position in the room allows for viewing from both the conference room and the lobby, with vibrant hand-dyed colors to inspire those involved with the work of the agency. During the summer astilbe bloom in the front flower beds, the palette of the piece is even more connected to the beautiful FamilyMeans campus.

Morgan Clifford and Tim Olds are longtime supporters of FamilyMeans. Two additional installations by her adorn the walls of the facility: a similar warp & weft weaving in the rear conference room overlooking the prairie and a series of painted squares in the mental health clinical corridor. 

Similarly, FamilyMeans Center for Grief & Loss in Saint Paul, installed a new triskelion ornament in its healing garden dedicated to Arba-Della.


FamilyMeans Financial Solutions Offers
5 Tips to Replenish Your Emergency Fund After Tough Times

For many, the last 6 months have been tough. Between layoffs, business closures, and other challenges that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic, most have felt a financial strain in one way or another.  This may have meant that you tapped into your emergency fund to help you get by, and that is good, because that is exactly what it is there for!

Now that you are returning to work and getting back on your feet, it is a great time to think about replenishing the emergency funds that you dipped into. Of course it takes much longer to restore funds than it does to spend them, so don’t get discouraged! Follow these tips from our consumer credit counselors to quickly replenish funds!

  1. Create a new budget. Meet with one of our counselors to review your current income and expenses. They can help to create a new budget as it relates to your current needs.
  2. Increase the amount of money coming in. Get an additional job. Make it fun! Perhaps surrounding a hobby or interest. Many jobs have moved to online only, which means you can make some extra money from the comfort of your own home!
  3. Cut back. Take a look at your spending and make some minor cuts for the time being. Make a meal at home rather than going out. Skip the trip to the Starbucks, or shop at a thrift store instead of buying new!
  4.  Put larger financial goals on the back burner. Having an emergency fund is so important, and should be the priority over saving for other financial goals. Once your emergency fund is replenished, go back to focus on other financial goals such as a down payment for a home or starting a business.
  5. Reassess Regularly. Each month take a look at your budget and see if any adjustments need to be made. 

Saving for a rainy day is hard. Especially if you feel like you are still in a storm. FamilyMeans Financial Solutions can help. Contact our Certified Consumer Credit Counselors today to get your finances back on track!


You’re invited!
Memorial Walk for Hope & Healing

The FamilyMeans Center for Grief & Loss hosts a Memorial Walk for Hope & Healing each September. This year, to keep all participants safe and healthy, we have decided to hold this event virtually.
We hope you can join us to remember loved ones lost, reflect, and share hopes for the future.

1. Register by September 14 to receive an email message on
Saturday, September 26 at 9:00 am with the virtual event content.  

2. Independently, or while gathering safely with family and friends, watch the event
which includes acts of remembrance, reflection, and a reading of the names of those we remember. 

3. Take time to go on a short walk. Getting out into fresh air and thinking of a loved one
who has passed can provide great comfort and reflection. 

*Note that this is not a live event, so you can participate at any time or date after Sept. 26!

FamilyMeans Board of Directors

 Brian Gunderson, Chair | Cary Stewart, Treasurer
Susannah Torseth, Secretary | Elizabeth McGinley, Past Chair
Charles Bransford, MD | Melissa Harris | Heidi Hubbard, MD 
Marissa Lucio | Mike Lyner | Jessica Meletiou | Rajean Moone, PhD
Linda Skoglund | Josh Zignego | James Kroening, President & CEO

1875 Northwestern Ave S,  | Stillwater, Minnesota  55082
651 439 4840 |

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