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SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota; Lifespan of Minnesota
ST. PAUL and BURNSVILLE, Minn., Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Who: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota (NAMI Minnesota) and Lifespan of Minnesota, a local organization that runs a Day Treatment Program for children with mental illnesses with facilities in Shoreview and Burnsville, among other advocates.
What: Press conference to address the Feb. 4 public hearing comments from local Golden Valley community and the City Council 2-3 vote to disallow Lifespan of Minnesota to locate its Youth Transitional Program in a building zoned for mixed commercial use, which is located near a residential area.
Brief comments by Sue Abderholden, Executive Director, NAMI Minnesota; Traci Hackmann, CEO, Lifespan; Mary Regan, Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies; Lucinda Jesson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Why: Mental illnesses affect one in five children from every community. The action by the city council reinforces the stigma and discrimination against children with mental illnesses. The children who receive treatment at Lifespan and other treatment programs are not "those children" they are "our children." There are many families in Golden Valley and the surrounding communities whose children need this more intense level of treatment. Children with mental illness are in every city, every town, every neighborhood and every school.
When: Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11 a.m.
Where: NAMI Minnesota Headquarters, 800 Transfer Road #31, St. Paul, MN 55114
Lifespan and NAMI/Minnesota were stunned and saddened by the Golden Valley City Council vote Wednesday night that disallows the use of an already commercially zoned building to be used by Lifespan of Minnesota and its Youth Transition Program designed to help children with serious mental illnesses. Our extreme disappointment is not about a building, but more so of the offensive and inflammatory language used to describe the children who need treatment -- which points to our community's lack of understanding of children with mental illnesses.
Lifespan came before the City Council to acquire a Conditional Use Permit, which was required because of square footage issue – Lifespan's facility needs approximately 19,500 square feet and anything over 10,000 square feet requires this permit. Lifespan met three weeks ago with the City Planning Office and received 16 conditional points – all of which were either accepted or addressed by Lifespan and its developer. To address any public safety concerns, Lifespan also held separate meetings with the Police Chief of Golden Valley, who spoke at the Feb. 4 meeting and stated there is no public safety threat.
16 people from the local Golden Valley community presented comments at the public hearing. The video of the hearing can be found at http://www.nwsccc.org/golden_valley
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